EPITA’s Graduation Ceremony of 156 Egyptian professors from Train the Trainers program in AI
The graduation ceremony of the virtual “Train the Trainers” (TT) program in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for 156 Egyptian professors was held online on 1 February 2021.
The 3-month training program is part of the cooperation between EPITA and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt (MCIT), with the aim of developing a joint educational program and creating an effective knowledge transfer system through training Egyptian professors and launching an AI diploma program for Egyptian youth at the Information Technology Institute (ITI).
18 faulty members of EPITA joined forces to train the Egyptian professors who were selected by a joint committee consisting of EPITA and MCIT out of 1,600 applicants. The curriculum of the training was adapted to the needs of the Egyptian market.
Dr. Joel Courtois, Managing Director of EPITA, highlighted how EPITA responded with agility to the learning needs of the Egyptian professors and delivered 300 hours of classes in a such a short period of time. Rabih Haddad, Director of International Programs of EPITA, added that the academic content has been modified based on the feedback of trainees all the way during the program.
This successful experience opens the door to EPITA’s potential partnership with higher education institutions in Egypt to develop a variety of academic programs at different levels and in the fields other than AI such as cyber security and health technology.
Mr. Stéphane Romatet, Ambassador of France in Cairo, agreed with Dr. Courtois and looked forward to building on the success of this collaboration to establish other kinds of partnership with Egypt. He also pointed out the contribution of the French embassy in coordinating the first meeting with EPITA during the MCIT’s visit in 2019
During the ceremony, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology H.E. Dr. Amr S. Talaat underlined that the training program comes in MCIT keenness to build the capacity of young people, as they represent a future investment and a key pillar for building digital Egypt. MCIT focuses on harnessing all potentials to enrich the training program and make it available to as many people as possible.
Dr. Talaat applauded MCIT’s partnership with EPITA, which began during his visit to France with the aim of benefiting from its expertise in capacity-building in the field of AI. Such partnership contributes to Egypt’s leveraging such technology to overcome the challenges the Egyptian society is facing. He added that he looks forward to expanding French-Egyptian cooperation in different areas of technology.
Moreover, the Minister emphasized that innovation and human effort are key to success for any initiatives. He called on the participants to share their expertise they acquired during TTT and avail the training content to qualify more young people in this field.
The MCIT Minister’s advisor for AI Dr. Golestan Radwan stated that the national AI strategy aims to employ AI to develop all sectors and strengthen Egypt’s regional leadership in this field. The pillars of the strategy include building capacities, providing training to all segments of society in this area, developing practical applications and deploying AI systems. Dr. Radwan added that she counted on the graduates’ leading role in utilizing AI for development.
Dr. Heba Saleh, Head of ITI, said that as the TTT program concluded, the AI-Pro program started. AI-Pro is a 9-month one-of-a-kind program in Egypt, through which ITI trains more than 1,000 young people annually regarding the applications of AI. The trainers and the training content were qualified and developed by EPITA.
5,600 young people have applied for the AI-Pro program so far. In light of the increasing demand for applicants, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology strives to increase the budget so as to enroll all eligible applicants.
The ceremony was also attended by Dr. Mohamed Farouk, Director of ITI – Ismailia branch.