More than 43,100 youth across the Middle East and North Africa have learned urgently needed coding skills, fostering youth development and job creation, industry experts announced today ahead of the United Nation’s World Youth Skills Day on 15 July.
In post-COVID-19 societies, as young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, World Youth Skills Day calls attention to students’ needs to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to the future disruptions.
Showing the strong need for digital jobs, IDC projects the Middle East and Africa IT market to top USD 83 billion in 2020. In the Middle East, coding is taking on increased prominence in the job market, especially with the UAE-led 1 Million Arab Coders Initiative to foster coding-related jobs.
Initially formulated as an answer to the 2015 migrant crisis that affected the Middle-East, Digital Skills for Today is now on a mission to empower the youth from an early age all the way to employment, with a vision to contribute to the entire region stabilization.
As a matter of fact, more than 900 bootcamp graduates have gained employment in Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Yemen, as well in other countries, including Canada and Sweden. Digital Skills for Today coding has raised the awareness of the importance and value of Digital Literacy as the new language to support the era of digital transformation.
“Digital Skills for Today directly improves the quality of life by providing in-demand skills for the 21st-century job market,” said Batoul Husseini, the Director of Government Affairs Middle East North, Corporate Social Responsibility Lead – MENA, SAP. “Furthermore, the initiative has valuable social outcomes, decreasing unemployment rates in marginalized populations, and providing long-term opportunities for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Digital Skills for Today is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) collaboration between global technology company SAP, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Injaz Al Arab, ReBootKamp (RBK), and re:Coded.
Digital Skills for Today addresses several critical regional challenges, including youth unemployment, inadequate workforce readiness, social injustice, and an overall lack of digital skills training. It is now a wide range of offerings, providing MENA youth with training as they build the future of the region with tolerance, courage, and perseverance.
“Bringing about new skills and expertise in conflict-affected areas is essential to the development and reconstruction of those regions,” added Batoul Husseini. “We aim to reveal the many potential coding heroes that only lack the opportunity to improve their lives and build their own future. Our hands-on learning material and training session allows quick insertion into the workforce, thus shaping an entire generation of tech-savvy professionals.”
SAP Digital Skills for Today includes introducing Digital Literacy, Upskilling for Employment, and Fostering Entrepreneurship. SAP’s contribution to UNHCR was able to support 945 displaced persons in MENA in response to COVID-19.
In addition, SAP collaborated with Ashoka ChangemakerXchange in hosting a MENA Changemakers Against COVID-19 program, where a100 social enterprises across the world joined the Collective Action Summit held in April. Twenty-three MENA changemakers were selected to participate in a Resilience Program, which supported them to sustain and scale their impact in developing solutions to the COVID-19 crisis in the region.