Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said approved the inclusion of a EGP 15m innovation centre project in the Ain Shams University plan for fiscal year (FY) 2020/21.
El-Said said that innovation and creativity are essential components of the national agenda for sustainable development (Egypt Vision 2030). She also said that attention to issues of knowledge and creativity has become mandatory, due to the global economic and social development challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The minister said that the transformation into a knowledge economy and society is no longer a sub-issue of concern to the elite.
This transformation must be incorporated into Egypt’s various economic, social and environmental development policies and programmes, while qualifying the appropriate legislative and institutional environment for this transformation.
This would occur in addition to encouraging creativity and innovation, whilst also promoting the culture that supports this.She said that the Egyptian government’s 2018-2022 programme highlights several pathways for spreading the culture of innovation.
El-Said also said that the state is providing full support for entrepreneurship and incubators to stimulate innovation and creativity, with the aim of promoting youth empowerment and maximising their creativity.
The minister noted the importance of mobilising resources to intensify investment in scientific research and knowledge-intensive industries as well as providing opportunities for learning, training and capacity-building.
She highlighted that these goals will not be achieved without increased cooperation and efforts among development partners, including the government, the private sector and civil society, whether national, regional or international.
El-Said said that her ministry has launched the Egypt Prize for Government Services Applications. This stems from the belief in the importance of creativity and innovation, as well as the role of youth, in developing the system of governance.
Projects developed by young Egyptians studying at local universities successfully took part in the competition, with three distinct applications winning the top prizes. The winning projects represent examples of young Egyptians who have achieved excellence, creativity and innovation.
El-Said said that the Egyptian state encourages the culture of entrepreneurship within the country’s education system. The move is designed to support self-employment and encourage Egyptian youth to take on roles as job creators.
She noted that the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development attributes great importance to supporting the culture of self-employment. This has been highlighted in the form of the 2030 Pioneers project, which aims to build youth capabilities and develop their skills. The project aims to enable Egypt’s youth to transform their ideas into projects and utilise their energies to support economic growth, and create jobs.
El-Said added that in light of Egypt’s accelerated technological development, the biggest challenge is no longer just providing education for all. Rather, it is about providing education based on skills development and knowledge, creativity and innovation enhancement.
She noted the importance of linking the country’s education system, its curricula and the content of its activities to the development of society as one of the requirements for creating productive and effective educational experiences. This entails encouraging students to find innovative solutions to development problems that already exist in their local communities, and then go to the outside world to find solutions to global problems.