Does Jordan have a golden opportunity in the field of technology?

* Engineer Nidal Al-Bitar

If so, how do we achieve this?
Who are the three winning parties?
The world is witnessing a tremendous development in the field of digital transformation, as most countries of the world are competing with each other to achieve prosperity for their citizens through the use of communication and advanced technology, be it infrastructure, systems or solutions based on modern technology and innovations, which require the availability of large numbers of qualified human resources that are considered The basis for digital transformation, as these countries strive to occupy high ranks among international indicators of their readiness.
Despite the consequences of the Corona pandemic, and the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, and in parallel with inflation as well, the financial budgets allocated to promote digital transformation in countries, whether in the public or private sectors in its different branches (health, financial, agricultural, educational, industrial, energy, smart cities, and others), very large.
According to international studies and surveys, the world loses 390 billion dollars due to the lack of qualified and specialized human resources in the field of technology, and 82% of different organizations from different sectors say that it is difficult to attract and retain talent, while 52 % of technology leaders believe that the skills gap is a big problem.
Moreover, the size of the information technology market in the world is estimated to be around two trillion dollars, while the size of the global outsourcing and outsourcing (IT/BPO) services market is expected to reach around 900 billion dollars by 2025, with many countries such as India, China and Brazil obtain Most of them are Eastern European countries and some other countries. These services include software development, technical support, call centers, quality assurance, web hosting, and others.
In addition, through a simple search on the Internet, the total needs of many countries around the world are about three million specialists in the field of information technology, for example, but not limited to, there is a need for about one million specialists in the United States of America alone, and about 200 thousand in Canada, 124,000 in Germany, 70,000 in Sweden, 37,000 in the Netherlands, 40,000 in Britain, 60,000 in Australia, 15,000 in Finland, about 170,000 in France and 60,000 in Ireland, 12,000 in Singapore.
According to a simple study announced by the Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies in Jordan – Production in December last year, the number of graduates from technology-related colleges exceeds 7,000 students annually – of whom approximately 3,000 are registered as employees of social security in 2020 – In the results of its study, the “Intaj” Association relied on recent data issued by the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education, considering that the total number of workers in the communication and information technology sector in Jordan registered with social security is about 26 thousand male and female employees, which means that there is a large number of graduates. Those who can work, but there are no job opportunities for them for many reasons, including – according to the owners and managers of technology companies – the most important are the poor level required in the English language, poor life skills (communication, teamwork, desire for self-realization, etc.), in addition to a lack of Practical technical skills, but these skills can be mastered through practical training, either in the companies in which they work or in specialized technical training camps (Bootcamps), which are organized by the Ministry of Digital economy and entrepreneurship through the Association for Digital Skills (DigiSkills), and various donors.
On the other hand, there are major challenges facing society, represented in the fact that the unemployment rate has reached 50 percent among young people in Jordan, according to estimates by the World Bank, in addition to the low rate of women’s economic participation, while the percentage of female graduates of information technology majors is about 51 percent.
Here lies the solution. If the capabilities offered by the information technology sector are utilized, the rise in unemployment rates will be curbed, especially in the governorates, because the sector is able to provide enough work, given the rapid changes taking place in the markets due to the massive information revolution the world is experiencing. Due to the success of the remote work experience, as Jordan has a good infrastructure, and the rate of internet penetration between and in all governorates is very high compared to other countries in the region and around the world.
Based on the above, there are two parties who can be beneficiaries if they are networked together, namely: technology companies around the world who suffer from an acute shortage of specialized human resources, and Jordanian male and female university graduates who are looking for work, but without adding ‘ n party A third essential, the benefit will not be achieved, and this party is the Jordanian information technology companies, whether large, medium or small, that need extraordinary support – details of which will be mentioned later – no less than the support of training programs by donors.
So, if we consider the three parties mentioned above, there is a really great opportunity to achieve their interests on the principle of (Win-Win-Win), as companies around the world that need efficient human resources, through Jordanian companies will benefit. which will employ university graduates after matching their skills to the required needs, which will achieve more export earnings and the growth of companies, thereby collecting more taxes for the public coffers.
To achieve this comparison, the details of the competencies, tools, processes and promotional materials possessed by Jordanian companies must be determined and evaluated, and then their capabilities are built, each according to need. Jordanian graduates and graduates based on it.
This process, in my opinion, requires joint efforts among all parties in the Kingdom, including the public, private, academic, donor and specialized training centers.
In turn, “Intaj” Association is currently working on preparation for the establishment of a specialized unit called “Business Development and Readiness Unit” (BDRU Unit) to be a facilitator with all parties towards a truly participatory approach to achieve specific goals which is measured, the main tasks of which are the assessment of the readiness of Jordanian companies, and build. In addition, this unit will identify the identities of international companies in need of human resources, and network them with well-equipped and qualified Jordanian companies, improving their exports and contributing to their growth, as this will contribute to the achievement of the vision of His Majesty King Abdullah II to make Jordan a leading regional center in the field of information technology and digital economy.
Intaj Association, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship and under the patronage of an exalted Royal Highness, is holding the Middle East and North Africa ICT Forum “MENA ICT Forum 2022” on 16-17 November 2022 under the title “The integration of technologies and digitization of border bridging, to reshape future generations.” “The forum aims to highlight the optimal image of Jordan’s position and what Jordanian companies have achieved in the ICT sector and entrepreneurship, as it brings together senior business leaders, decision makers, majors. companies and institutions concerned with communication and information technology in the region and the world, and a large number of speakers will participate in the forum Experts from different countries of the world to exchange knowledge and experiences on the latest developments in information and communication technology, in addition to establishing exhibition spaces for companies to showcase their promote services and solutions and hold meetings with partners, customers and potential investors, which will be a great opportunity to focus on this initiative to seriously move forward and set a time frame for its achievement.
* CEO of the Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies – “Entaj”

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