UNDP, MBRF launch online learning initiative for Arab countries

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), in partnership with Coursera, one of the largest online education platforms in the world, announced the launch of the “Future Skills for All” initiative on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. The initiative aims to provide scholarships to thousands of citizens in nine Arab countries, including Egypt, to improve their skills and prepare them for future jobs and economic growth in the region.

Abdullah Dardari, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Office for the Arab States, said: “The 21st-century challenges require great cooperation and creative innovation, and the ‘Future Skills for All’ initiative will create a future where everyone has equal and easy access to quality education and training in the skills needed. We are confident that this initiative will enable thousands of people to benefit from future employment opportunities and support our efforts to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the Arab region.”

The initiative comes at a time when the labor market is undergoing rapid changes in the skills demand, driven by digital transformation and emerging technologies. According to recent studies, more than 60% of the workforce will need to be retrained by 2027, but only half of them currently have access to suitable training opportunities. The “Future Skills for All” initiative seeks to address this gap and help thousands of people in the region to develop relevant and in-demand skills and build a more resilient workforce.

His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, Executive Director of MBRF, said: “As the UAE continues its journey of progress and innovation, such partnerships reflect our country’s vision of empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills they need for the future. This initiative, which we launched from this important platform with UNDP and Coursera, confirms the UAE’s commitment to the development of Arab countries, to global cooperation, and to promoting knowledge exchange. Together we aim to establish an environment that ensures success and prosperity for all in the digital age.”

The initiative will initially target 5,500 Arab citizens in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE. It will focus on recent graduates, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, especially those from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. The initiative will also enable micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as public institutions, to enhance the skills of their employees.

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, said: “We are proud of our partnership with UNDP and MBRF, which aims to provide thousands of Arab citizens with the skills and qualifications necessary to participate in the digital economy. This initiative will improve opportunities for employment for job seekers, supporting employers and entrepreneurs in maintaining their competitiveness, as well as stimulating economic prosperity across the region.”

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