When we first started, 15 years ago, the first thing that was very attractive is the location. It's a hub to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. So from a location and time zone perspective, it's very attractive.
Then, when we look at the labour market, the resource pool, each year more than one half million [technical] professionals are introduced into the job market. What was also very helpful is the engagement of the government in supporting multinational companies.
We're seeing lots of great talent that comes out of universities, they bring a lot of innovative mindsets. It's not just in artificial intelligence and the latest technologies, but it's even in the traditional way of doing business.
We are a country of a hundred million plus. The most important thing is people, and building the capacity and training. We have a number of government entities that support us in that, like ITIDA, for example, that helps with capacity building, and this is the most important thing besides the technology and infrastructure.
I'm very, very happy to see that there are a number of government programmes to really train students out of university in a broad array of fields so, when they come out of university in two, three years' time, they have different expertise than the rest of Africa and than the rest of the world.
From an economic perspective, it is very attractive at this time to be in Egypt. But it's not a sole driver. What's more important is the quality of service that comes with that cost, and customer satisfaction.
Today we have about 6700 employees dedicated to serving the rest of the world in two main activities. The first is everything that has to do with contact centres. Serving markets like Germany, the UK and Italy. The second activity is actually a technology activity. We host here Vodafone's worldwide centre of excellence on technology.
Things such as RPA (robotics process automation) are being done out of Egypt for the rest of the world. Smart cities are being designed, built and operated here in Egypt for the rest of Europe, so many activities where you can see that it's really the technical hub happening in Egypt.
Why is that? Simply because we have fantastic talent in the market, and we have the ability, from a cost perspective, to offer quality services at a very competitive price.
We were a call centre. Today we're living in a period of digital transformation. We're engaged in pre-consulting, solutions design, engineering, project management implementation and operations activities.
Today we reached 2300 employees, that are supporting more than 800 multinational companies, 24 by 7 in 12 languages.
We have about 6000 employees out of Egypt servicing about 110 clients, and close to 80% of those are offshore clients: Europe, Middle East and Africa in different services. I can service my clients with 25 languages coming out of Egypt: German, English, Dutch, Polish, Zulu, all languages you can imagine we can scale out of Egypt.
The Centre of Excellence was started in Egypt in 2009. We have 18 different businesses here in Egypt that are serving all over the world. We have a dedicated internet of things engineering team with data scientists who are building the new generation of products and services in the IoT space.
From last year to this year, the centre of excellence grew from 900 team members to 1400 team members. By the end of this year we'll reach around 1700.
The ICT sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Egypt. Gartner ranked Egypt as the primary destination for outsourcing and shared services. They look at its access to talent, how much you can scale and the ease of finding talent, the cost attractiveness of providing the service out of this country, and of course the ease of doing business, and the government support that investors or multinational clients get when they trust their operation out of Egypt.
Throughout history, Egypt has been a leader in the Middle East and Africa in terms of science and evolution, and Egypt will continue to do that.