Did you know the Arab world has the world’s highest percentage of youth unemployment? There are over 100 million young people between 15 and 29 in the Arab world, the highest proportion in the region’s history.

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Therefore, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Silatech and Microsoft as per which ictQATAR joined the Employability Resources for All Digital Alliance (eRADA), an initiative by Silatech and Microsoft to develop and deploy Web- and mobile-based employability portals across the Arab region, creating direct access to skills, work, e-learning, career counseling and market solutions for Arab youth seeking employment or help in starting their own businesses. Through this network of portals, eRADA aims to provide employability and entrepreneurship opportunities to over a million young people throughout the region over the next five years.

Silatech’s Senior Advisor – Employability, Jo Aggarwal, said:

‘Online resources have the potential to provide widespread access to much-needed support, especially outside urban centres. Too often, however, language barriers, inadequate digital access, or a simple lack of awareness create obstacles which prevent the region’s youth from utilizing them. Through Silatech’s eRADA initiative with Microsoft, we are working to bring together an ecosystem of partners to create unprecedented access to high quality online employability and entrepreneurship resources.’

Hassan Al Sayed, Assistant Secretary General, ICT Government Programs at ictQATAR, said:

‘The objectives of the eRADA initiative synergise with ictQATAR projects such as TumuhaTEC which helps young people achieve their full potential in the ICT sector and the Digital Innovation Center which offers digital entrepreneurs the know-how and expertise to turn their ideas into viable businesses. Through this collaboration we will also support eRADA web portals through specially planned joint outreach activities.’

 In early 2013, eRADA will develop and launch Ta3mal.com, a regional youth employability and entrepreneurship portal which will bring together in one place a variety of resources from international and local partners, including e-learning, internships, mentoring, career guidance and entrepreneurship resources.