Dr. Abdul Malik Jaber, Chairman of Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) – a leading, innovative payment services provider in the Levant – presented the biggest challenges facing youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during his participation as an official speaker at ArabNet Beirut, the largest regional event for the digital creative sector, held in Lebanon.
During his speech, Dr. Jaber focused on the issue of unemployment, saying, “Youth represent more than 70% of the MENA’s population, with unemployment reaching 30% among youth with university degrees. At the same time, we have 60 million Facebook users and more than 90 million individuals with internet access. These facts tell us that we have a big challenge in the Arab World that we have to attend to. We need to build an enabling eco-system that allows talented young Arabs to innovate and be entrepreneurial. Governments can’t address unemployment problems alone, and we need to create viable partnerships with the private sector and academic establishments to open the door for the region’s start-ups and SMEs to thrive and advance.”
Held for its fifth year, ArabNet is a platform that brings together talented youth, investors and public authorities to discuss and explore what can be done in the domain of entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for youth. The 2014 conference featured more than 75 speakers from the Arab World and beyond, and drew the participation of over 600 CEOs, entrepreneurs, developers, designers and digital professionals.
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