New Invitational Technology Platform to Set-up for Youth in Middle East

Cisco has been selected as an Anchor Technology Partner for development of Invitational technology Platform, which will deliver Silatech services and solutions to the youth across the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Silatech is an innovative initiative engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for young people.  It was intended to help address the critical issue of youth unemployment, a serious and growing challenge impacting countries throughout the world. Silatech and and Cisco aim to create jobs and enhance youth skills in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector through industry programs such as the Cisco Networking Academy.

Using an innovative development model, Silatech and Cisco will both contribute to the development of the Invitational Technology Platform. Silatech will also invite a selection of local, regional and international technology organizations to participate according to their expertise. Local and regional universities and young developers from the Middle East and North Africa will also be involved in this regional effort.

Rick Little, chief executive officer, Silatech, said: “Technology is an important catalyst for harnessing the intellectual and creative energies of young Arabs.  Cisco is a global leader not only in creating advanced technology solutions but in their approach to developing ICT skills and talent globally.  We are pleased to leverage their expertise to help Arab youth reach their full potential.”

Cisco’s newly opened office at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) will be used as a base for the development effort.

Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer, Cisco and EVP, Cisco Services, said: “We are proud to collaborate with Silatech to address the skills gap as well as create entrepreneurs and the leaders of tomorrow among the upcoming youth in the Middle East and North Africa. This is another key milestone in our journey to help develop talent, foster innovation and leverage growth in key regions around the world.

What this platform has to offer me?

Silatech’s Invitational Technology Platform will offer young people, entrepreneurs and enterprises throughout the MENA region access to:

  • Business development services and skills training for entrepreneurs leading existing small and medium size enterprises (SMEs);
  • Financial services to entrepreneurs and SMEs;
  • Skills development services to young people in various industries;
  • Access to markets and supply chains for SMEs;
  • Job placement and services across the MENA region.

Let us know your comments


Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.


  1. Hey Ahmad,

    It’s good question, but I have got you the right answer: Silatech is supported by His Highness the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. Also, Cisco is contributing to it, which means objectives and deadline are set, maybe not shared with public right now. So I think politics will play outside this court.


  2. Sounds interesting but reality makes one wonder how politics will restrict or facilitate access to the resources being offered

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