UK to launch creative economies program in Egypt



Mon, 15 Oct 2018 - 02:11 GMT


Mon, 15 Oct 2018 - 02:11 GMT

Minister of Telecommunication and Communication Technology Amr Talaat (l) and British Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt (r) - Press Photo

Minister of Telecommunication and Communication Technology Amr Talaat (l) and British Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt (r) - Press Photo

CAIRO - 15 October 2018: The United Kingdom is initiating a partnership with Egypt to launch the Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) program in two years. The project was announced on Oct.14, coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the British Council in Egypt.

The declaration of the program took place in a conference attended by Minister of Telecommunication and Communication Technology Amr Talaat, British Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development Alistair Burt, Consultant of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Hossam Farid, and Chairman of the Industries Union Mohamed el-Sewedy.

Minister Burt said that Egypt’s partnership with the UK will contribute to boosting the creative economy in the country and will create jobs for future generations, equipping them with essential skills “to turn their dreams into reality.”

“Innovation is at the heart of economic success. We know that for countries to succeed in creating jobs for future generations, and solutions for society’s problems, we need to support bright ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. That’s why the UK is investing in entrepreneurs through programs like DICE, and in education to give young people the skills they need to turn their dreams into reality,” the British minister said.
The conference was also attended by key government actors, national institutions and relevant organizations that the British Council is working with to understand and develop this particular area of the economy.

The creative sector offers opportunities for entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds, in particular young people, women and other marginalized groups. Grants from the British Council that are offered as part of the DICE programme are only allocated to projects that can benefit these groups.

Through the programme, the British Council is collaborating with a range of government, academic and business organizations to assess the shape and size of the creative economy, its potential, and ways to improve its growth.

The programme will also provide grants to individuals to kick-start projects in the creative economy. By boosting Egypt’s creative sector through the right strategies and support, the project hopes to increase employment opportunities, particularly for young people.

Elizabeth White, country director at the British Council in Egypt, said: "As we celebrate 80 years in Egypt, we have launched this new programme which combines arts, creativity and entrepreneurship – and looks to the future."

Country Director at the British Council in Egypt Elizabeth White - Noha El Tawil

“If you have a new idea, whether it’s in social sciences, art, or technology, the future can be yours, because growth through innovation is the future.”

“Digital technology contributed a great deal to the development of creative economy, which has been growing considerably in recent years. This makes investing in innovative technology and entrepreneurship a strong priority to achieve inclusion and sustainable development, which are part of Egypt’s 2030 Vision,” Egyptian CIT Minister said.

The Ministry of CIT contributes to this vision by launching different projects that encourage youth to innovate and develop their knowledge base, creating awareness of entrepreneurship and intellectual property protection.

More importantly, the ministry is launching programmes that apply technology to enable and include people from different factions of society. Such programmes include distance learning, developing the technological infrastructure of public schools, and building the skill sets of youth in marginalized and rural areas, in addition to providing people with disabilities with access to technology.”

The British Council director described in a subsequent press conference the start of the project as "great", saying that the Union of Industries had greatly supported the project and that the disabled as well as the citizens in remote areas will be targeted by the program once they have internet access.

Head of DICE program Becky Schutt stated that creative economy has secured 30,000 jobs in the United Kingdom. The value of the sector is £92 billion and it is integrated with 11 sectors.

Head of Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) Becky Schutt - Noha El Tawil

Schutt explained that the program is to be integrated with social enterprise like in the domains of health, education, and social cohesion. Schutt clarified that creative economy can come up with creative solutions to gender inequality, demarginalization of certain social groups and unemployment.

Schutt added that creative jobs are 85 percent less likely to be robotized and that it is ideal for women empowerment. She said that DICE will train youth to create jobs in the creative economy sector, teaching them all the necessary skills.

Creative economy is part of many core creative sectors and all types of social enterprise, Schutt highlighted.

White affirmed the UK’s trust in Egypt’s economy revealing that by March 2019 arrangements with Egyptian universities will start to make the program accessible for students. Youth’s ambition is no longer starting from the beginning in a company all the way up; they are eager to create something, White said.

White revealed that LE30 million have been allocated for implementing the program in Egypt, highlighting that grants up to LE2 million are currently available for creative economy entrepreneurs through the grants program between the UK and Egypt before even DICE is launched.

Schutt explained that DICE is a global collaboration grants program and that it is in the pilot phase in Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and soon Egypt. The DICE fellowship program has been already introduced in Pakistan.

Schutt clarified that the program is based on the demands of each country so as the UK currently co-designs the model with Egypt with an interest in hubs and intermediaries as one establishment can work with 100 others. She added that success factors will be assessed in each country to be integrated into a global perspective when applying the program in others.

DICE received 30 grant requests in Egypt and the deadline for application is November 20. Furthermore, DICE plans to do a mapping of different sectors in the creative economy - including journalism and media - to determine development needs, and potential areas.



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