Last Tuesday marked the graduation of the fifth and final batch of Mobile Application Launchpad graduates. The day was bittersweet but also had us looking forward to seeing what these young developers will do next.
We launched MAL two years ago with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and after two years, and 6,000 applications (majority of which came from outside of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria), more than 1,200 developers Egyptian are now certified in Android app development. At 75%, MAL ranked the highest completion rate we and our partners at Udacity have seen in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
The program also allowed us to meet some ambitious young minds through the two competitions we organized with the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab where startups and applications pitched for funding and mentorship. These developers provided innovative solutions through local, and relevant mobile applications. Such as Hasala, the app while will make donating to charities a more transparent and effective process. Or Cold Supply Chain, which allows inventory owners to control the temperature of their refrigerators remotely and provides an analysis of the optimum temperature to make sure food products don’t go to waste.
Geared at successful mobile app developers in Egypt, MAL granted scholarships to Udacity’s Developing Android Apps course, which was arabized just for the program. What made MAL unique was its focus on three key pillars: certification, training, and career guidance and placement. We worked with our local partners such as the Internet Technology Institution who provided support to our students in the form of study groups that were led by Udacity and Google-trained mentors who came from Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, Menoufiya University, and Benha University. Together with their mentors, MAL students put in more than 225,000 hours of studying over the past two years.
We also worked with job-placement portal Wuzzuf who organized two career where MAL students met with potential employers from more than 50 local and international companies.
With more than 50,000 people graduating every year with IT-related degrees, Egypt is home to a wealth of talent within the tech industry. After MAL, we are beginning to see what some of these developers could do with the right support. Egypt needs more entrepreneurs and coders to fully take advantage of the new digital business transformation.
This is just the beginning of what these talented young Egyptians will create, and we look forward to seeing the impact they will have not just on the app scene in Egypt but on the wider digital ecosystem.