Research Papers

Integrated ICT for Siwa Community Development

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Paper Abstract
Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt’s isolated settlements located in the heart of
western desert in Governorate of Mersa Matrouh. Siwa is surrounded on all
sides by diverse landscapes. The approximate population size is 23,000.
Agriculture and agro-industry represent the basis of the Siwan economy.
Because of its isolated location, there is lack of access to many services. Thus
the project aims to empower this local community in areas of literacy, education,
health and e-commerce through small, integrated, and focused interventions
using sustainable ICT solutions.
The project duration is two years. It facilitates the collaboration among multi-
stakeholders namely: Egypt ICT Trust Fund , World Health Organization (WHO),
Vodafone Foundation and Siwa Community Access Center (CAC)
The project focuses on following four sectors:
1- ICT 4 Education
The project in this sector supports the Smart Schools that is fully equipped with
computers, connectivity and provides teachers capacity building on creative
education technologies. Computer labs are used as Community Learning
Centers CLCs after school official hours. The Smart School project was already
implemented in three Schools, while three more are currently in progress. The
plan is to cover all essential educational levels within the few coming years.

2- Illiteracy Eradication

Egypt ICT Trust Fund introduced a multimedia CD set for official course of
Illiteracy Eradication in Arabic language. Due to custom traditions of this rural
community, it prevents women to leave home for education especially after
marriage. Hence women present more than 70% of illiterates, Egypt ICT-TF
created an innovative solution called Tabluter which is based on the low
traditional wooden table known in Egypt as tablya. The tablutor is a customized
ergonomic embedded single CPU that runs for four independent users. The
Tabluter is used as mobile Educational Lab situated in individual homes where
IT and illiteracy classes are taught by women instructors. Two Tabluters are
used since 2006 while five more are currently built. The impact of ICT 4 Illiteracy
Eradication program in Siwa affects the majority of the community excluding a
marginal ratio (2%).
3- ICT 4 Health, E-health Initiative
The project in this sector develops Tele-Medicine services between Centre of
Excellence in



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