A wide range of activities will bring together more than 300 students, policy-makers, communications specialists and academics from across the region, including Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.
Speaking ahead of the event launch, IDRC Regional Director in the MENA, Bruce Currie-Alder said: “In the past few years, we have witnessed a flourishing of the start-up scene and young talented entrepreneurs in the region. Our event is an attempt to support these local efforts and to raise awareness of the benefits that data can bring to these emerging businesses; in being more effective, exploring new markets and even creating new products and services.”
From her side, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt Anita Nirody said: "Here at UNDP Egypt, we are firm believers that youth, once empowered and engaged, can together with the public and private sectors, assist in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the innovation tools we have employed to do so is data, both big and open."
The event will kick off on February 18 with a two-day data camp gathering students from different universities and young entrepreneurs from all over Egypt. On February 21 and 22, a workshop will take place at Cairo University on the status of data-driven innovation and digital entrepreneurship in the MENA region, identify best practices, and draft recommendations for policies that foster data-driven innovation. Canada’s Ambassador to Egypt, His Excellency Troy Lulashnyk, will open the workshop together with representatives of Cairo University and other partner organizations.
On February 23, a data-rich communications training will take place to enable journalists, and communication specialists in governments and non-governmental organizations to produce and visualize more fact-based and multi-dimensional news and stories.
The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in Egypt, Cairo University, the United Nations Development Program (UNPD), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Information Technology Institute (ITI), which affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.