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In line with International Youth Day, Silatech highlights its commitment to connecting Arab youth to job opportunities in the Arab world.

The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”, is a critical priority in the Arab world. Through its mandate, Silatech has been working closely with partners to mobilize resources, and create innovative projects and initiatives to achieve tangible results in creating an effective economic environment that ensures jobs for young people and to promote the economic and social stability.

Ms. Sabah Al Haidoos, Acting Chief Executive of Silatech commented: “Since its inception in 2008, Silatech has been a pioneer in creating initiatives and programs that work on improving the social and financial stability of youth through connecting them to jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities suitable to their qualifications in addition to active civil engagement to contribute to the development of their communities.”

Since the Arab world suffers from the world’s highest rate of youth unemployment of 30%; Silatech seeks to unlock Arab youth potentials by developing innovative solutions to dispel the obstacles they face and help them change their lives for the better.

By early 2016, the regional organization has successfully financed over 120,000 youth-owned businesses, created or sustained over 200,000 jobs through its innovative programs and initiatives in in 16 Arab countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Comoros, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

Silatech has been strengthening its efforts in supporting Arab youth and connecting them with jobs opportunities through its strategy that focuses on three programs: Employment, Enterprise and Research & Policy., the first online portal that supports Arab workforce development across the Middle East and Africa region, is one of the most prominent initiatives in the region. It provides career guidance, job search assistance and professional skills enhancement with localized versions in eight countries across MENA: Egypt, Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria, and Palestine, as well as the anticipated launch of Ta3mal portal for Syrian refugees. To date, the regional network of Ta3mal portals benefits more than 400,000 registered users.

As for Enterprise, Silatech works with leading microfinance institutions across the region to provide young entrepreneurs with loans to help them start an income-generating projects that involve additional job opportunities for youth in their communities. For example, “Bodour” initiative in the Kingdom of Morocco, which seeks to support and facilitate financing services to young entrepreneurs across the country through two products: business expansion loan and business start-up loan. The initiative aims to create 165,000 job by 2020.

In addition, Silatech is keen to enable the Sudanese youth to find productive jobs, where it worked to establish and launch specialized microfinance programs to enable more than 40,000 job opportunities for entrepreneurs by encouraging financial institutions to lend young people, and by providing a combination of technical support and innovative financing instruments.

As for Research and Policy, Silatech works closely with the Arab governments and international organizations to study the policies that directly affect young people, and work to modify them and dispel the obstacles they face. In addition, Silatech has adopted the first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report in the State of Qatar, where they carried out a national survey on entrepreneurship status in Qatar comparing to other participating countries. The survey focused on entrepreneurship frameworks that affect entrepreneurship activities in Qatar, including financing, government policies, entrepreneurship programs, as well as  research and development, governmental and legal infrastructure, and physical infrastructure.

Ms. Al Haidoos concluded: “Complementing its leading role and working towards achieving its vision of an Arab world where youth can work and participate in the economic development of their communities; we will continue to create innovative initiatives in collaboration with our partners in the Arab world that youth can best benefit from.”