Conference launches initiatives to create 80m jobs by 2020
The Arab Thought Foundation conference initiative to pen a strategic document to facilitate more investment and create jobs.
A system to classify Arab universities by quality is one of two key steps launched at a pan-Arab conference in order to help create 80 million jobs across the region by 2020. The Arab Thought Foundation concluded its annual conference with the launch of the two key initiatives to support the target.
The first of the two initiatives is to pen a strategic document to facilitate more investment and create jobs, which will be launched by the end of the year, while the second is to launch a classification system for Arab universities as part of measures to strengthen the quality of education. The rating system will first be applied in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Lebanon.
The initiatives were developed on the basis of discussions at the conference as well as a report which followed an extensive survey undertaken across the region.
UAE Federal National Council member Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori said there were challenges to overcome in order to enable job creation. “The right work culture can help the younger generation benefit from economic opportunities. However, considering that work culture is intrinsically connected to lifestyle and traditional attitudes, the challenge before the region is to overcome any semblance of negative culture and inculcate the spirit of positive culture.”
In order to achieve this goal, Al Mansoori said the media has a prominent role in guiding the youth of the region to change their perceptions about the culture of work.
Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF), said the conference served as a successful and credible platform to enable different stakeholders from the Arab world to discuss central issues related to job creation. Several panel discussions and workshops were held over two days on aspects of job creation such as public policy, labour mobility, sustainable job creation, importance of capacity building, role of the private sector, and volunteerism and the role of entrepreneurship and start-ups.
A session on the need to promote regional integration summarised the key factors that promote job creation as improving the quality of education, promoting public private partnerships, focusing on research and development, and driving the involvement of youth.
Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ibrahim Saif, said the Middle East must ensure it developed an educated and employable generation through long-term planning.
The use of business models like franchising and outsourcing to contribute to job creation process was also discussed. Bob Gappa, founder of the US-based franchise consulting company, Management2000, said franchising gave people hope to make more income, improve their lifestyles, build wealth, accrue equity and become debt-free. “Franchising is all about growing a vibrant economy to close the economic gap. It is all about creating hope in the form of opportunities. Job creation is hope creation and the most successful form of job creation is franchising because it takes away the learning curve.”
Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products General Manager and Business Development Manager, Mutasher Awad Al-Badry, said the vision behind the company’s popular product, Camelicious, was to diversify the range of dairy products in the UAE while providing livelihoods for shepherds and farmers. Today, the company has 3,500 camels and 2,400 employees, he said.