Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has announced the availability of an online training initiative that it hopes will scale up the country's youth as far as digital technology skills are concerned. The initiative is a partnership between ITIDA and Udacity, an organization that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs). It involves a free 18-month online scholarship, Future Work is Digital-fwd, to 100,000 young Egyptians.

According to ITIDA the aim is to prepare young Egyptians for jobs that the market currently requires by helping them learn, master, and practice digital technology skills. In a statement, ITIDA also added that the initiative is part of Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s strategy to "invest heavily in building local talent and reinforcing the country’s huge and well-educated workforce."

"In these times of challenges and great opportunities, the current and future reality of learning, skills training, and work are changing! Momentum is rising towards going all digital; outreaching from personal spaces to online global scapes; merging goals and markets and opportunities. It’s never been a better time to go fwd!"

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The main focus of the scholarship is on teaching web development, data analytics and digital marketing. This will help young people in Egypt to be equipped with the necessary skills and tools to be able to work in the freelancing market. Given the current global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, it is also important  that they master remote work as well according to Egyptian authorities at ITIDA.

“With the strong momentum towards going all-digital, we offer our young people a unique virtual academy with free nanodegree programs. It has never been a better time to launch such initiative as COVID-19 is expected to make the freelance market grow rapidly, and will push organisations and governments to accelerate the adoption of digital services, thus the demand for gigs and remote work opportunities will soar,” said Hala El-Gohary, CEO of ITIDA.

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