Egypt Adopts AI Singapore’s AIAP and AI4E to Upskill Nation

AISG and Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) have signed signed a cooperation agreement to implement in Egypt two of AISG’s premier talent development programmes in AI, the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP)® and AI for Everyone (AI4E)®. This collaboration will help Egypt in its strategy to launch capacity-building programmes to propel the country’s AI capabilities.

This move comes shortly after Egypt announced last week the launch of its national AI platform to embrace and embed AI technologies, information and network globally.

The virtual ceremony which took place on 12 July 2021 was witnessed by Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information and Minister in Charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, Mrs Josephine Teo and Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Dr Amr S. Talaat. The signatories to the agreement were AI Singapore’s Director of AI Innovation, Mr Laurence Liew and Advisor to MCIT’s Minister for AI Dr Golestan Radwan. In attendance were also the Singapore Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Dominic Goh and Egyptian Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Mahmoud El Maghraby.

The first thrust of the collaboration will have AISG conduct a one-time training for a newly formed 10-member core Egyptian team on how to implement and run AISG’s award-winning AIAP. This training is expected to run for up to four months. Subsequently, the trained Egyptian experts will then cascade their knowledge by training their counterparts. The AIAP is a full time 9-month deep skilling programme that trains and grooms AI talents to work on real-world AI projects and enhances career opportunities in AI-related roles.

AIAP was launched by  AISG in early 2018  out of a need to groom local AI talent to research, develop and deploy AI solutions for Singapore’s industry, under AISG’s flagship 100 Experiments Programme (100E). 100E helps local companies solve their business problems through the co-development of AI solutions and by helping companies build their own AI teams. Since then, AIAP has been recognised by the industry as a successful innovation and talent accelerator programme, with over 150 AI engineers trained and hired in the industry to date.

In recognition of AIAP’s innovation in talent development, IDC awarded AISG as one of the country winners in the 2019 “Talent Accelerator” category. The success of the AIAP model can be adopted by any organisation through the AIAP eXternal collaboration model (AIAP-X). They can partner AISG to build their own AI talent, leveraging AIAP best practices, content, know-how and engage AISG as advisors, similar to the collaboration with Egypt. 

A second thrust of the collaboration will involve Egypt translating AI4E to the standard Arabic national language for a nationwide promotion. Started in 2018, AI4E is an effort to demystify AI for the public and companies. This 3-hour online course has also been adopted by Singapore’s secondary schools, junior colleges, polytechnics and institutes of technical education to groom students in AI literacy. To date, more than 41,000 people in Singapore have completed AI4E and the nation is enroute to reach its target of 100,000.

“AI Singapore is honoured and excited to be part of Egypt’s strategy to launch capacity building programmes for its country. We are pleased that Egypt has selected AISG’s AI Apprenticeship Programme and AI for Everyone to accelerate its own AI talents. This is a testament that AISG’s talent development models are effective, can be scaled and adopted globally. We hope that with the introduction of these two programmes, Egypt will realise its ambition to be an AI-Aware nation.” said Laurence Liew, Director of AI Innovation, AI Singapore.

Laurence Liew

“We believe the Singaporean experience in AI is an impressive one that deserves to be shared with the world. The AIAP is quite unique and we believe it is vital as a next step after students graduate from university or other training programs. The gap between what students learn in courses and what is expected of them in real-life AI projects is quite large, and a person can only be considered ready for the job market if they have at least had one experience of working on an end-to-end project within a professional team, solving a real problem.”

Dr Golestan Radwan

Like Singapore, Egypt has embarked on a more digitalised future with an ambitious AI strategy over the past few years. This collaboration between AISG and Egypt will continue to promote international cooperation in areas related to AI and capacity building in digital skills. The collaboration will also see new opportunities for AI companies in both countries. AISG will partner with Singapore’s agencies and trade associations to bring 100E AI companies and others into Egypt and the region.