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Empowering Youth For Employment

ICT helps in the provision of strong tools to improve employment opportunities for young people and to help the promotion of the economic status of women, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups through the advancement of private businesses, and the creation of new employment opportunities. The ICT Trust Fund works in this area by collaborating with partners in a number of projects and initiatives that support employment generation and promote entrepreneurial and soft skills to assist all groups of citizens. This allows youth not only to take advantage of available employment prospects but also to create self-employment opportunities.

As of 2006, IFAD has adopted a program to support micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs using ICTs to enhance the competitiveness of entrepreneurs by building their management, planning and electronic marketing capabilities.

The implementation of this program was followed by a number of partners throughout the Fund's history, whereby the model was expanded to reach as many beneficiaries as possible. Various initiatives were adopted for SME capacity building through the provision of training in information technology and services, in order to enhance the impact of small and medium enterprises in society, and insure a positive impact on the economy through facilitating increased employment opportunities.

The Fund's activities in support of small enterprises and young entrepreneurs are not limited to training and capacity-building, but also to linking local industries to markets by promoting the marketing of local products on the Internet, as in the SIWA SHOP portal www.siwashop. Net, which aims to promote the micro and small products and projects in Siwa.

The Fund also seeks to build the capacity of trainers by implementing TOT programs on basic IT skills and higher levels of specialized programs that benefit entrepreneurs. On the other hand, support for small enterprises and entrepreneurs is also aimed at building the capacity of SMEs and civil society institutions to be more efficient and competitive in the labor market.