Google Launches Arabic Digital Skills Program 'Maharat Min Google' To Nurture MENA's Youth
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Google is taking a step towards increasing the employability of the MENA youth population. With a ceremony held at the Youth Hub in Dubai, Google launched Maharat Min Google, a free digital skills-building program in Arabic that will provide access to free courses, tools and in-person training to help the region’s youth prepare for and find jobs, grow their skillsets or start their own businesses.
With 100 lessons across 26 core topics in digital marketing, the platform would cover topics including search engine marketing, social media, e-commerce, geo-targeting, data analytics and more. Anyone who completes the full course, which takes about nine hours to finish, will then be provided with a certificate attesting to their skills by Google.
To scale the reach of the Maharat min Google program, Google is partnering with the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK) to conduct in-person trainings to more than 100,000 students across Saudi Arabia. Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, is also granting US$1 million to INJAZ Al-Arab, a regional non-profit organization, which will run in-person trainings to 100,000 students in 14 countries in MENA focusing on youth from underprivileged and rural areas. Both programs from MiSK and INJAZ Al-Arab are targeting a 50% female participation.
The Maharat min Google launch featured presentations by Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director, Google MENA, Matt Brittin, President of Business Operations across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Google, and INJAZ Al-Arab CEO Akef Aqrabawi, as well as a panel discussion with H.E. Khalfan Juma Blehoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation, Najla Al Midfa, General Manager, Sheraa Sharjah, Rabea Ataya, Founder and CEO, Bayt.com, and Leila Hoteit, Partner & Managing Director, BCG.
On the sidelines of the launch, Entrepreneur Middle East spoke to Google MENA Managing Director Lino Cattaruzzi about how the youth unemployment rates and participation of women in the workforce in the region were pivotal to the development of the initiative. According to Cattaruzzi, the tech giant aims for the program to be embodied and utilized by participants to tackle the region’s issues. “By making information universally accessible and useful, [then] more people can understand [how to] use these [tools] digitally,” says Cattaruzzi, noting how the decision to offer the courses in Arabic was as part of their dedication to focus on the user, which, in this case, are users based in the region and mainly Arabic-speaking.
As part of Google's manifesto to improve lives and society, Cattaruzzi asserts, “We hear clearly that unemployment is an issue in the region, and having digital skills will increase your chances of employability.” By focusing on these two issues, Cattaruzzi says they can see an immense positive change and impact. Check out the Maharat min Google program for yourself on g.co/Maharat!