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Posted On: 4 June 2008 10:27 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Doha Summit agrees on job strategy

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
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YOUNG people should think out of the box, HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad urged yesterday. “Do not be afraid to take risks,” she told the closing session of the Doha Summit on Young People and Employment in the Arab World. The two-day conference was organised by Silatech, HH Sheikha Mozah’s initiative to support the creation of new jobs in the Middle East and North Africa region, and Financial Times. Directing her comments towards young people, she said: “We at Silatech believe in you and your ability to make a difference. You have our support, and we trust you that you will prove us right.” HH Sheikha Mozah maintained that with the achievements and dedication of young people, Silatech would be able to instill hope and confidence in society, today and tomorrow. Observing that Silatech was initiated with the ideas and creativity of young people, she called upon them to lend all the energy and youthfulness it needs to overcome any obstacles with drive and determination. Silatech aims to improve the social and economic status of young people through the creation of progressive and entrepreneurial markets and employment and business opportunities. The project was initiated and launched by HH Sheikha Mozah at the annual forum for the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations in Madrid in January this year. The Doha summit brought together a number of experts from public and private sectors and civil society to share ideas and proposals aimed at creating job and investment opportunities in the region. Earlier, the gathering agreed on a strategy to fight unemployment in the Arab world. Organisers announced that the initiative would be launched in six Arab countries: Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria. It would be expanded to other states in the Middle East and North Africa at a later stage. The strategy concentrates on improving young people’s access to demand-driven and market-oriented skills training and job placement services. It also deals with improving the access of micro- small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to capital, business development services and markets. Delegates agreed on promoting policies to stimulate increased employment and economic opportunities for young people and social inclusion. They called for efforts to improve society’s recognition and support for young people’s contribution to economic and social capital. Silatech envisions a world in which every young person is prepared to achieve success, and being engaged in decent work, and actively pursuing their dreams. Its mission is to connect young people, 18-30 years old, with employment and enterprise opportunities. “Our commitment is to mobilise interest, investment, knowledge, resources and action to drive large-scale comprehensive employment and enterprise development programmes,” they said. For young people to succeed in finding gainful employment they need access to skills training, counselling and placement services linked to the requirements of the labour market, it was pointed out. In order to succeed, entrepreneurial MSMEs – both new and existing - need access to capital, business development services and linkages to corporate supply chains and regional and global markets. The delegates agreed that government policies must be shaped to improve the competitiveness of the labour market, the strength of the business environment, and overall employment and economic opportunities for young people. Many factors can help or hinder young people’s pathways to employment and social inclusion. Gulf Times