Ambassador of Canada to Egypt: "Data is increasingly playing an important role in Canada’s development programming"
Remarks by H.E. Troy Lulashnyk , Ambassador of Canada to the Arab Republic of Egypt, delivered at the opening of the “Data-Driven Innovation in the MENA Region: The Way Forward” Regional Workshop on Sunday, February 21, 2016
I am pleased to be with this group of dynamic guests today.
Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is championing the use of data-driven innovation and entrepreneurship; it is a theme which dovetails perfectly with Canada’s domestic and international priorities and policies.
At home, the government of Canada has embraced the “data revolution”: recognizing that open data is a powerful tool for strengthening effective policy making, fighting corruption and driving innovation and economic growth.
By implementing an “open by default” policy for all ministries we hope that freely available data will be used and reused in new and unanticipated ways. Moreover, it will support our country’s priority of good governance.
Internationally, we are collaborating with other governments and organizations to develop principles and policies to support open data and data-drive innovation. Most recently we hosted the third international conference on open data and played a lead role in drafting the Open Data Charter.
Data is increasingly playing an important role in Canada’s development programming and our priorities of supporting sustainable economic growth and building resilient communities.
Despite the situation in Egypt whereas unemployment has risen since the economic crisis to 13%, experts have highlighted Egypt’s considerable economic opportunities for growth. These include attitudes to and opportunities for entrepreneurship, as well as a burgeoning start up sector that is keen to seize new technology trends, such as data-driven innovation.
The Egyptian government is keen to support the growth of the ICT sector, aspiring for Egypt to become a global internet hub. Through fostering industry in software development, innovation and entrepreneurship, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and cloud computing. The Egyptian government aims to nurture a growing digital economy.
Egypt announced an ICT strategy in 2015 to double the sector’s GDP contributions from 3.8 % in 2015, to 8.4 % by 2020.
As IDRC’s Dr. Sharif and others are keen to point out, data is the new oil and enterprises will succeed or fail depending on the extent to which they harness its power.
In light of the recognition that data is a driver of innovation and economic growth, it is imperative that educational curricula reflect this fact. As well, with high youth unemployment we must take steps to conceive of what skills will be required to succeed in not only today’s marketplace, but that of tomorrow.
For this reason, I am pleased to open today’s session and wish you success in conceiving of ways to include this important area of study in education curricula.