Skills for the Future in MENA’s Changing Workforce

Skills for the Future in MENA’s Changing Workforce

Date and time: October 22, 2020, 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

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The MENA region is suffering from an acute employment crisis caused by converging forces of slow, asymmetrical economic growth and outdated education and skills development systems. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to amplify the problem by driving unemployment even higher, pushing people toward informal employment, and slamming the door shut on women in the workforce. However, despite deep social and economic challenges, the region is a growing investment hub, ripe with opportunities for new firms specializing in emerging technologies. Will MENA be able to capitalize on digitization and the skill’s transformation in order to bounce back from the pandemic? How can the private sector play a role in re-skilling and up-skilling the workforce? Our panel, co-hosted with Localized, will explore the issues of investment, emerging technology, education networks, and skills that are key to understanding the economic transformation in MENA.

Introduction: Merissa Khurma, program manager, Middle East Program

Moderator: Ronit Avni, Tech and media entrepreneur and Peabody award-winning producer; founder and CEO of Localized; founder and former executive director of Localized


  • Manuel Langendorf, researcher and writer focusing on the MENA region. Former editor of The World Weekly
  • Aref Boualwan, senior manager Digital Transformation & Strategy, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC)

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