(Doha, Qatar) – Silatech, British Council and Qatari Students Network opened their two-day Youth Summit on entrepreneurship and employment yesterday. Fifty young entrepreneurs from around the Middle East and North Africa are attending the two day event which is focused on the region's youth employment challenges and Silatech’s efforts to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship for small to medium sized enterprises and access to capital and markets.
The Youth Summit encourages the participants to amplify their own voices and relate their experiences on entrepreneurship, job creation and employability to the broader public throughout the region.
The Youth Summit is an opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of the obstacles preventing the full integration of young people in economic life as well as to actively engage participants in the development of ideas. Participants also engaged in analyzing and defining the prevalent attitudes toward work and the many societal barriers to employment and entrepreneurship.
At the June 8th Silatech Doha Summit on Young People, Enterprise and Employment, participants will witness the launch of Silatech Index. The Silatech Index commissioned by, Silatech the knowledge consortium, and created in partnership with the Gallup organization is the first comprehensive poll of young Arabs throughout the region on all aspects of life. The poll concentrates on topics of employability, necessities for finding jobs, and the obstacles young Arabs encounter in leading successful lives. “Silatech believes that the full engagement of young Arabs is a necessary prerequisite to the full economic development of the region. We are committed to amplifying their voice, promoting the work and building the projects necessary to overcome the challenge of youth unemployment,” said Mr. Ahmed Younis, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications.
The Silatech Youth Summit provides the young leaders with an opportunity to engage influential regional and global leaders. The program features a lecture by his Excellency President Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Ahmad AlHashmi – President Qatar Students Network said: ‘‘this conference is being held in the midst of a global economic crisis, which challenges small and medium sized enterprises. Gathering young business leaders for this workshop is an opportunity to network and explore how they can positively contribute to the economies of their countries. It has proven throughout the history of mankind that the greater the challenge an individual faces the greater the rise and aspiration to defeat it.’’
Simon Winetroube, Director British Council said: “When economic times are tough there is always a danger that societies turn inwards, when in fact it is more important than ever to co-operate in facing the challenges. At such times, the role of cultural relations is more critical than ever in building trust and understanding, keeping the doors open and encouraging the exchange of knowledge and ideas to address the issues of the day.
The Summit marks a milestone for Silatech, British Council and Qatari Students Network as it represents the first joint event pursuant to their commitment to address common regional issues by utilizing the potential and ambition of young people.
Silatech is an innovative initiative engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for young people. It was intended to help address the critical issue of youth unemployment, a serious and growing challenge impacting countries throughout the Arab world. With the support of His Highness the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, Silatech was first announced in 2008 at the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid and launched in June 2008 at the Doha Summit. Silatech means “your connection” in Arabic, and its strength is in partnering with leaders, corporations and organizations around the globe to promote opportunity and innovation. More information can be found at www.silatech.com.
The British Council is a cultural relations organization that works in over 100 countries worldwide to build trust and engagement through the exchange of knowledge and ideas. It has a track record of success in empowering young people and giving them a voice in major international forum, such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; World Economic Forum Middle East, in Sharm El Sheikh, and the G20 London meet. The Silatech Youth Summit will form a part of the British Council’s Global Changemakers Project which aims to create a global network of young activists, who are able to influence their communities and speak to authority with confidence and passion. More information can be found at: www.britishcouncil.org/me-qatar
The Qatari Students Network was founded by Qatari students in the UK. It started as an Internet-based forum, but later the structure of the Network was re-designed to contain Qatari students from all over the world, with ambitions to maintain and grow within the Qatari student, the Qatari identity which is derived from the Qatari traditions and customs, and from Islam.