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Millennials behind IBM Egypt

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The fields of technology and information systems evolve on a daily basis. As the pioneers that lead the future of technology, the new generation of digital natives are essential in the development of new standards and protocol associated with the industry. This notion is none more so apparent than at IBM Egypt. IBM Egypt’s millennial workforce have exhibited an ability to embrace innovation and embody entrepreneurship through their investment in the advancement of technology and desire for progress.

From IT specialists who developed smart Chat Bots and cognitive applications, to sales specialists and client technical professionals who help clients in their digital transformation journeys, the IBM Gen X are making profound changes in the technological landscape of Egypt.

At the helm of this transformational story is Souraya Ezzat, Egypt’s Millennial Ambassador in one of the company’s global initiatives for empowering the new generation of young minds to revolutionise IBM.

As a representative of this enterprise and professional “servant leader”(as she puts it), Ezzat shares the common traits found in many of our millennial hires: Dedication, passion, responsibility, empathy, and capacity to process concepts and solutions quickly and independently.

These characteristics are symbolic of the multifaceted nature of IBM’s digital natives who continually challenge themselves and acquire new skills daily. Khaled Shaaban has always been fond of technology. As a computer scientist and former developer, Shaaban has branched out from his area of expertise to chase is passion in security and cloud solutions. Through his exploration of the latest trends, vulnerabilities, deployments, and ethical hacking functions, he has exceeded in his position as Client Technical Professional by leading successful sales journeys through his in-depth understanding of security concerns. He goes on to add, “…the achievement is building lasting relationships with clients and having them feel you are not just selling something to them, but rather you are really looking out for their best interest.”

The everlasting search for knowledge and new challenges is something that distinguishes IBM millennials. Their sense of competition and commitment to succeeding in the face of the unknown requires a sense of courage not unfamiliar to Noura Thabet.

Noura’s interest in technology stemmed from an article she read at school about the applications of nanotechnology in the field of dentistry. Her ambition saw her through university where she proved her worth amongst her peers. At IBM, Noura is a Quality Manager and Blockchain Consultant, delivering over 25 projects that propelled her to become one of the youngest female people managers under 30 at IBM and a recognised speaker on trending technologies and businesses internationally.

These young talents and many others at IBM Egypt don’t support only the Egyptian market, but go beyond borders to serve IBM’s clients worldwide.

While the field of technology is constantly expanding to encompass the needs of tomorrow, IBM Egypt has secured their position at the forefront of technological solutions and services, an achievement reached thanks to the irreproachable dedication and initiative exerted by the millennials that drive the future of the company and of the world.

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Keeping up with the demands of the lubricants market, TOTAL Egypt announced the launch of TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 for the first time in the Egyptian market, giving its customers an advanced alternative to conventional engine oils.

TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 is the highest specification synthetic based oil, suitable for all high-performance gasoline engine cars, and recent models with a high kilometre count. Its premium quality base oils and additives provide engine protection under normal driving conditions through specific resistance to oxidation and sludge build up prevention, ensuring engine cleanliness at all times by reducing particle accumulation. TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 also provides strong and lasting protection of engine parts, increasing the engine’s life span.

Having been developed to cover the most stringent manufacturer requirements while consistently guaranteeing top-notch quality, TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 meets OEM approvals PSA Citroen B71 2300, MB-Approval 229.1, VW 501.01/505.0 and meets requirements of FIAT 9.55535-G2 and is compatible with all emission control devices and gasoline grades, ensuring optimum power and performance under the most severe driving conditions.

Ian Lepetit, Total Egypt Managing Director said, “Total is committed to making driving and caring for your vehicle a great experience. Our nationwide network of service stations and expanding product portfolio cater to the vital needs of commuters every day. TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 is the latest addition to our growing portfolio as we strive to offer our customers diverse options, at exceptional quality, that help them best care for their car engines based on their own needs.” 

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DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG has named Sameh Sabry as the new General Manager of DEA Egypt. He will take over the responsibilities as of August 1, 2018. On the occasion of the handover, CEO Maria Moraeus Hanssen participated in the farewell reception for Thomas Radwitz who had been General Manager for nearly three years.

Sabry is the first Egyptian General Manager of DEA Egypt. He joined DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG ten years ago and had been assuming different managerial roles mainly in North Africa and Europe. He gained experience in leading positions such as the General Manager of DEA’s branch in Algeria or as deputy of the General Manager of DEA Egypt branch for extended periods of time. Mr Sabry is an engineer with an MBA degree.

In her speech during the handover reception, Hanssen highlighted the qualification of Sabry: “He knows DEA Egypt by heart, is well connected, and respected and starts his new job with great competence and a strong DEA spirit.”

Radwitz will be assigned Board Advisor in DEA’s head office in Hamburg. Maria thanked Radwitz for his achievements: “During his assignment, DEA made lots of progress in a time when Egypt is getting ready to become a regional energy hub.”

During her third visit to Egypt six months after joining DEA as CEO, Maria met the Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla to reinforce DEA’s continued commitment to Egypt. She congratulated the minister to the positive effects of his ‘Modernisation Programme’. Egypt’s plans to convert to a regional energy hub have already the strong support of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank. Egypt is well-positioned to serve as a regional energy hub due its rich hydrocarbons resources and well-established export facilities, which would offer convenient export routes to neighbouring East Mediterranean gas fields.

Hanssen pointed out that within the coming two years DEA is targeting to double its production levels through an investment programme that exceeds $500 million. An ambitious work programmes for Gulf of Suez and Disouq assets are currently under execution. Investments in the Gulf of Suez asset has already led to significant production increase. In respect to further plans, the CEO renewed DEA’s interest to look into further opportunities like exploration licences. DEA is currently evaluating the blocks offered in EGAS latest bid round.

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Recent international reports and research analysts highlighted the steady growth, strong performance and the resilience of the Egyptian IT sector along with the leaps that Egypt has made in the IT/ITES industry in the last couple of years and its already-established reputation as an off shoring destination of choice.

A recent report published by PULSE magazine; the official magazine of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), stated that Egypt has demonstrated increased efforts in developing the infrastructure, nurturing its talent pool through multiple training programs on advanced technologies such as data science, big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity; in cooperation with major players of multinational companies.

Entitled “Egypt is changing the World’s Reception about the Country, from being the Home of History toward a Nation with Competitive Edge”, the report added that outsourcing workforce in Egypt stands at around 170,000 employees, providing services to 100 countries around the world, in 20 different languages.

The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has reported that it has agreed with six global IT and BPO players to expand their operations in Egypt resulting in creating more than 3,700 jobs.

Maha Rashad, Acting CEO of ITIDA said that the high demand from multi-national companies to establishing and expanding their captives reflects the increased confidence in Egypt’s capabilities as an outsourcing destination that is mainly distinguished by the abundance of multilingual talent and in-demand technical skills.

Peter Ryan, CEO of Ryan Strategic Advisory and one of the key analysts in the BPO spectrum, shared his view on the country emphasising that Egypt’s outsourcing value proposition is more relevant than ever.

He added that the Egyptian government has prioritised attracting new BPO investment, touting the country’s skilled labor force, incentives and focus on quality while confirming that Egypt’s front-office outsourcing sector never shrank, a testament to the value that its investors place in that location. Egyptian BPO 2.0 is a reality.

Based on a recently-published survey by Gallup, Egypt has been ranked as the safest country in Africa and came in a higher rank than the UK and the USA, which qualifies the country to be a perfect destination to attract tech investments and provide offshore services to the globe.

Egypt has been identified by Gartner as one of the primary destinations for Offshore and IT services; repeatedly in years 2016 and 2017 after it had been removed from the list for more than five years since 2011. Additionally, Egypt ranked first in the Middle East and Africa in the A.T. Kearney 2017 Global Services Location Index (GSLI).

Recognising the country’s capacities of the ITO, BPO, and Shared Services Industry, The German Outsourcing Association has revealed its guide to help decision-makers better understand the advantages and conditions in working with Egyptian IT-and business process service providers.

The Egyptian ICT sector has been witnessing unprecedented growth and is currently one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP growth and a major exporting sector with more than 3.25 billion USD export revenues.

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MARAKEZ for Real Estate Investment, the Egyptian arm of Saudi Arabian conglomerate Fawaz Alhokair Group, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Al-Futtaim Misr for Retail, to open the first IKEA store in West Cairo at the Mall of Arabia. This will be the Swedish retailer’s second store in Egypt and follows on the heels of its successful entry into Cairo Festival City in 2013.

The IKEA Store at Mall of Arabia will encompass 20,000sqm of retail space fully integrated within the Mall of Arabia, aiming for an opening date at the end 2020.

“As Egypt’s economy recovers, supported by prudent economic policies and initial reforms aimed at addressing the major challenges of recent years, foreign investors and international brands are once again showing interest and confidence in the Egyptian economy,” said Ahmed Badrawi, CEO of MARAKEZ. “Many global brands, such as IKEA, are reviving their expansion plans in Egypt, by far the largest consumer market in the region. We are delighted that Al-Futtaim has selected MARAKEZ as its strategic partner in this venture, recognising the strength of Mall of Arabia offering and its unparalleled location. We are confident IKEA will be a great addition to the development of our second phase at Mall of Arabia and will enhance the visitor experience for all our customers.”

Vinod Jayan, Managing Director – IKEA UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman commented, “Following the success of our Cairo Festival City store, we are delighted to be expanding our retail offerings by opening our second store in Egypt, and our first store in West Cairo. We look forward to this continued success and welcoming the wider community into our stores.”

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At its 4thRegional Thoracic Medicine Forum, which was held recently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, brought together over 150 of the region’s top pulmonologists to shed light on continued innovation in respiratory care.

At the event, experts have mentioned that the region as a whole has witnessed an increase in pulmonary diseases due to risk factors which include smoking, extreme weather variations, as well as genetic conditions. The prevalence of smoking and obesity has also reached alarming heights and the associated lung diseases present a major health burden to medical systems. 

The forum served as a platform to highlight the diagnosis and misdiagnosis as well as challenges towards controlling the prevalence of pulmonary diseases across the region that include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).In addition, healthcare professionals from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait also stressed the importance of early detection of the symptoms and proper adherence to treatment protocols.

Dr Alaa Shalaby, Professor of pulmonary diseases at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine said, “COPD is a chronic disease that causes limitations in lung airflow and the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, and is expected to become the third leading cause by 2030. In Egypt, COPD is a rising significant health problem; however, information on its prevalence, morbidity, and mortality is still lacking. The prevalence of COPD among high-risk individuals in Egypt was estimated to be about 10 per cent.The most common symptoms are breathlessness and a chronic cough.  Although COPD is not curable, it is preventable; where treatment can help slow down the progression of the disease.  Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent data from its landmark 52-week DYNAGITO trial, involving more than 7,800 people with COPD showed a lowered rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations know as flare-ups after the trial. This important trial shed light on the central role treatments play in the management of COPD which can help reduce symptoms and minimise  the future risk of exacerbations.’’

People who have a family history of COPD are also more likely to develop the disease if they smoke. In addition, long-term exposure to other lung irritants also is a risk factor for COPD such as air pollution, chemical fumes and dusts from the environment or workplace.

Dr Shalaby also noted that, “With more and more exposure to environmental and occupational factors, the risk of contracting pulmonary diseases such as COPD among the general population is high. Smokers, usually visit the doctor complaining from heart problems and are unaware of what COPD is. It is important to take into account that not only early detection is important, but also the form of treatment, as well as the training required for doctors and hospitals to deliver the best care possible for those who are affected by COPD.”

 

In addition, experts at the forum shed light on the impact of asthma in the region. They said that the disease is not properly controlled and requires immediate action especially to increase awareness and overall understanding of chronic pulmonary diseases amongst patients, healthcare providers and governments. The number of people suffering from asthma across the world estimated to be as high as 334 million. Asthma is not just a public health problem for high income countries: it occurs in all countries regardless of level of development. Over 80 per cent of asthma deaths occurs in low and lower-middle income countries.

Dr Shalaby highlighted that, “The burden of asthma in Egypt and the extent to which guidelines are being followed for optimum asthma control are largely unknown. There are no reliable data on the prevalence of asthma in Egypt to date, but according to studies, the prevalence of asthma among school children in the country have shown that the prevalence of the disease is 7.7 per cent. Asthma diagnosis requires the presence of more than one of the respiratory symptoms, worsening of the symptoms at night and exacerbation of the symptoms by viral infection, exercise, allergens, changing weather or smoke.

“The disease can cause a considerable burden on the physical, social, and professional lives of affected individuals and family. According to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) and the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS), there has been an increase in the general prevalence of asthma. Although the prevalence of the disease is more in developed countries, evidence in recent years has shown a sharp increase in developing countries due to the impact of urbanization’’ added Dr Shalaby.

Dr Dalia Mahmoud Amr, Medical Lead, Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) at Boehringer Ingelheim, said, “This year saw another successful edition of the Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Thoracic Medicine Forum, which aims to address ongoing issues pertaining to pulmonary conditions and provides a platform for experts from around the region to exchange knowledge and explore a holistic approach to the treatment of COPD, asthma and IPF. Research and development has been the cornerstone of Boehringer Ingelheim's success and continues to be the major driver of innovative new approaches that help improve patient’s lives and address unmet therapeutic needs; in line with both national healthcare initiatives and systems.’’

The two day event comprised of interactive sessions with the overall goal for experts coming together to discuss the latest medical and scientific insights on treatment and management of pulmonary diseases across the META region.  Doctors agreed that there is still an urgent need to raise awareness among patients and inform doctors about respiratory illnesses, ensuring optimal diagnosis and recommendations around the right method of managing the burden of such diseases.

 

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