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Wed 29 Jan 2020 12:42 PM

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Google.org awards $1 million to Middle East non-profit organisation Injaz

Philanthropic arm of Google has donated $2m to Injaz since 2018

Google.org awards $1 million to Middle East non-profit organisation Injaz

Rowen Barnett, head of Google.org for EMEA & APAC.

Google.org has ploughed a further $1 million dollars into local non-profit organisation Injaz.

The philanthropic arm of Google, which was founded in 2004 to support non-profits across the world, previously supported the organisation to the tune of $1 million in 2018.

Injaz, which operates in 13 countries, has become the largest non-profit organisation dedicated to overcoming unemployment in the region.

Funding from Google.org previously helped 100,000 students across the MENA region, particularly women and underserved communities, expand their digital skills through hands-on training.

Rowen Barnett, head of Google.org for EMEA & APAC, told Arabian Business: “For us it’s really been committing to empowering people to have the skills they need to thrive in this new, digital economy and that’s been our work in several countries.”

In 2018, Google launched Maharat min Google, a digital skills training programme for Arabic speakers, specifically women and youth, helping them prepare for future job opportunities.

According to a presentation by Google, by next year, at least one in five jobs in the Arab world will require digital skills that aren’t widely available today, leading to a skills gap.

It also estimated that over the next 30 years, governments and companies across the region will need to create over 300 million jobs and many of those jobs will be created through the digital economy.

However, only 38 percent believe that their education gives them the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.

Barnett said he has seen positive steps from the region to address this.

“I think there’s huge potential. Not only are we committed as a company, but we also see the commitment from organisations we work with, from the government and it’s the ‘can do’ attitude, this thirst for innovation and for improving lives,” he said.

“I do feel that, the way this region has embraced innovation in the last decade, I think there’s an incredible amount of promise. The conversations I’ve been having with non-profits and also with others in the region over the last few days, is how can we learn more, how can we apply AI, how can we improve this in our universities.”