The Mobile App Launchpad Program (MAL) celebrated on Tuesday the graduation of the last cohort (cohort E) of mobile application developers and honoured three groups for their mobile innovation and entrepreneurship with cash prizes.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and Google have partnered to launch the MAL, a collaboration to help Egypt’s talent pool excel in mobile app innovation and entrepreneurship.
MAL targets fresh graduates and university students in order to advance their academic knowledge through practical experience to design and launch their own mobile applications.
Following the ceremony, Head of Marketing for Google in the MENA region Tarek Abdallah said that Google has two main missions in the Middle East region. The first one is to advance entrepreneurship in the field of technology. The second one is to build a wide and strong base in Egypt for those who develop Android applications.
Abdullah said that Egypt was chosen because it has the biggest market of internet users in the Middle East. Also, it is one of the top countries with the highest numbers of engineering graduates and information technology specialists.
“There are about 50,000 new graduates each year in the field of information technology. What usually happens is that they may have sufficient academic knowledge, but this knowledge may not meet the requirements of the market,” Abdallah said.
He further added that Google’s role comes at the very end of their stage in university and the fresh graduates to help them bridge the gap. Abdallah said that about 1,200 Egyptian students got their certificates and succeeded the program; 100 students were awarded a higher certificate called “Nano Degree”.
According to Abdallah, this success rate represents about 75 percent, with 15 percent average global success rate, and the content is the same worldwide. It indicates that Egyptian students have a rather high potential.
Abdallah went on to say that about 10 percent of mobile applications on Android operating system is in Arabic. However, no less than 50 percent of users in Egypt need more mobile applications in Arabic, which is a gap that they are trying to minimize.
One of the main benefits of this program is that it encompasses several governorates in Egypt, with Assiut governorate producing a huge number of good calibers.
The recent economic turmoil that Egypt has been experiencing has not affected the interest of the ministry of communication and information technology in these projects, according to Abdallah.
Abdallah concluded by saying that about 30 percent of the applicants were females, which is a rate that exceeds the number of graduates from information technology universities.