Over the past decade, Egypt has strategically integrated information and communication technology (ICT) into its national development plan. In 2006, a collaborative effort between ICDL Foundation (formerly ECDL Foundation), UNESCO Cairo Office, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) launched a programme aiming to certify 1 million Egyptians in ICDL over five years. The government’s overarching goal is to achieve computer literacy for the entire population and enhance their ICT skills for global economic participation.
The ICDL programme is implemented through over 340 training and testing centres nationwide, with MCIT providing free training materials and tests. To ensure inclusivity, the government adopted an “ICDL for all” approach, treating the programme as a scholarship accessible to citizens of all ages and income groups. Multiple ministries collaborated to support the initiative, emphasising financial backing to enhance workforce skills and reduce unemployment.
By December 2010, the programme had enrolled over 700,000 participants, exceeding expectations. An impact assessment study on recently graduated students revealed that the ICDL certification directly contributed to the employment or advancement of 35% of beneficiaries within five months. Notably, 67% utilised their ICDL skills at home, positively affecting education, livelihood, and leisure. The government is committed to sustaining the programme, with future expansions aligned with demand.