Mena Innovation 2018

jp.ik strengthens relations with Middle East and North Africa

This is the official Ministerial Forum of Technological Innovation for Education and Digital Inclusion and took place in Cairo, Egypt, in the end of July.
Government and Industry key stakeholders gathered in this event under the patronage of the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Egypt Yasser El Kady.

This forum is a unique event for the exchange of experiences, challenges and needs of each country for the integration of technology in education systems and for the promotion of meetings with government agents from the countries represented at the event. The Ministries of Education and Technology from more than 25 countries of Middle East and Africa region were represented at this event. Among the countries represented were Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Uganda.

In the words of the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Egipt Yasser El Kady “the summit is of great importance to the Government of Egypt and especially the meetings-based format allowing for productive face-to-face engagement between government, civil society and industry partners. The summit has our own high-level involvement from multiple ministers, senior government officials and stakeholders representing Egypt”.

For Jorge Sá Couto, Chairman of jp.ik, “our work to promote the sustainable development of communities through the integration of Technology in Education is as irreversible as it is fundamental”. And as the Chairman of jp.ik highlights: “the success of the major education projects implemented by jp.ik results from the Inspiring Knowledge Ecosystem, a model that combines three crucial pillars for the design of large-scale educational projects with profound and long-term impact: engineering, pedagogy and technology”.

At the Government Leaders Day, the first day of the event, Jerónimo Silva, Regional VP MENA & Asia, conducted a presentation on the theme “Successful Large Scale Projects Implementation in Education”, sharing jp.ik’s vision and expertise in a sector that is both changeable and challenging, as the education technology sector is, to a predominantly governmental audience.

On the last day of the event, Jerónimo Silva returned to the
stage and moderated a Q&A panel session under the theme
“ICT Ecosystem for Digital Transformation”. The Minister of Communications & Information Technology of Egypt Dr Amr Talaat, the Minister of Communications of Iraq Hassan Kazem Al-Rashed, the Minister of Telecommunications of Lebanon Jamal Al-Jarrah, the Minister of Telecommunications of Djibouti Abdi Youssouf Sougeh and the Deputy Minister for Technology Industry & Digital Capacities of Saudi Arabia Dr Ahmed Al-Theneyan attended this panel session.

Themes such as the importance of an authentically inclusive education; productive partnerships towards successful ICT-based education projects or the identification of major educational reforms for the development of digital skills increasingly imperative in a labor market undergoing a mind- boggling transformation driven by technology were addressed during this one-hour panel session.

The integration of technology into education is as irreversible as it is fundamental and these events are an excellent forum for sharing experiences, challenges and best practices in integrating technology into education. In addition, these forums have a networking component that
is relevant to understand the state of the art of technology in education in certain regions of the planet; in this particular case – Middle East and North Africa.