Representatives of NGOs and the private sector emphasized the need to develop the infrastructure of the information economy, represented in advanced and secure communication networks on which economic activities are based, as a means of expanding the contribution of technology in various service and reach industries. sectors.
They also called for the need to contribute to motivating the private sector, business incubators and civil society institutions to develop the technological sector, and called for the development of educational policies and community awareness of the technological entrepreneurial sector within the framework of a comprehensive plan.
This happened during a workshop organized by the NGO network to discuss a paper written by Ing. Emad Al-Masry, entitled “Prospects for the development of the information technology sector in the Gaza Strip” within the project “Strengthening the capacities of civil society to respond to the needs arising from the rapid population growth in the Gaza Strip”, in partnership with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Gaza City.
The participants emphasized the importance of linking educational disciplines to the labor market, increasing the pioneering technological disciplines and developing educational curricula related to practical training in technological and software disciplines.
The Director of the NGO Network, Amjad Shawa, opened the workshop and noted that the ICT sector is one of the most important Palestinian economic sectors, as any development in this sector is reflected positively on the technological development of the rest of the sectors .
He pointed out that there is a large and growing trend among other economic sectors to computerize their operations and take advantage of information technology applications and solutions
Al-Shawa pointed out that the information technology sector is a promising and growing sector that attracts manpower, and it was one of the least affected sectors in light of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the nature of occupations and businesses therein, which do not require physical contact between its workers.
He emphasized that this sector has flourished due to the retreat of other economic sectors to look for technological solutions, and accordingly the demand for internet services, e-education, e-commerce, e-marketing, web services and others has increased.
In turn, the director of programs at the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, dr. Osama Antar said: “The partnership with the NGO network contributes this year to setting a set of indicators for a better future for the Gaza Strip.”
Antar emphasized that the information technology sector is one of the most important sectors of interest for developing countries, through which they seek to improve the economic situation of their people.
“It is unfortunately noted that most Palestinian universities burden university students and their families with university requirements that could be replaced to make a real difference in the future of graduates,” he said.
In turn, Al-Masry gave a presentation on the development of the technology sector in Palestine and touched on many issues regarding information technology, such as the economic role of the information and communication technology sector, opportunities for the development of information technology for current and future generations in the light of the steady population growth, and the role of business and technology incubators in creating jobs.
Al-Masry emphasized in his paper that the information and communication technology sector is the most promising sector locally and globally to attract and employ tens of thousands of graduates in Palestine and the Gaza Strip in particular, and with the presence of incubating environments that aimed at stimulating the acquisition of the necessary expertise and skills, is expected to contribute to reducing unemployment rates, increasing the level of income and reducing the level of poverty. this.
He pointed out that the response of the education system to the requirements of the local and external market is very slow and takes years to achieve the required change and change, and this is reflected in the accumulation of graduates who are not qualified to work in not to work. the private sector locally and internationally, and thus unemployment and poverty rates rise.
Al-Masry explained that the IT job market and the skills needed to be successful as an IT specialist are changing faster than any other field of work, and an IT skills gap arises when the demand for manpower for exceed a specific job role in the IT field. providing qualified professionals.
He said that work in this renewable field must allocate the necessary development funds in both private and public sector companies, in addition to the urgent need to qualify trained cadres and practice on a half-yearly basis to follow up developments and developments in this. field, and that the adoption of this strategy will greatly allow the provision of ready cadres Qualified and always responsive to the local, regional and international market.
Al-Masry called for the need to work henceforth on the digital transformation of the civil work sector, which will open new horizons to competencies and the real transition of civil work from traditional activity to a new level in providing absorb services to beneficiaries.
He also called for coordination between the work of the incubator and the private sector so that the incubator is a partner in the development process and not a competitor, and to work on mobilization and advocacy to allocate government support to business incubators know, and to facilitate loans. and financing programs for new projects.
The workshop participants presented many observations and recommendations for the development of the information technology sector by spreading the culture of entrepreneurship through the media within intensive media campaigns, focusing on the Technology Entrepreneurship Week.
They emphasized the need to work to make especially the community and students going to university aware of the importance and feasibility of studying information disciplines, the importance of technological training and entrepreneurial businesses and their feasible economic returns, and the work. opportunities they create.
They called for the development of scientific research policies and software experimentation, through advanced computer laboratories, to contribute to researchers and information technology students receiving advanced practical training, in addition to providing a research environment that keeps pace with the development in this field. As well as contributing to stimulate the private sector and business incubators to support the technology sector.