What would happen if you trained one million young Arabs in the field of coding or computer programming? The future scenario of Arab youth employment and their contributions to the world would take care of itself, said a UAE newspaper in an editorial on Wednesday.
This year, over 22,000 people from the Arab world have completed the One Million Arab Coders programme and 130 of the 250 top achievers were honoured by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday at a ceremony to mark this milestone.
Gulf News said, "The largest programme of its kind, the programme’s defining value is its grassroots approach to maximising youth potential. It is analogous with the idea of teaching a man to fish to feed himself for a lifetime rather than giving him a fish to feed himself for one meal. Providing Arab youth with free software development training is the surest way to harness their skills for the future.
"The ever-expanding footprint of technology in our lives is the biggest proof, if ever it was needed, of the urgency to shore up for the demands of tomorrow. Let’s take the role of artificial intelligence, AI, for example. Only a few years back, it was skirting the realms of possibility. Today, AI is already a part of our lives. The same is true of the digital economy. All this necessitates a ground shift in attitude and ambition and the One Million Arab Coders initiative epitomises that shift. Coding, as experts emphasise, is not just a means to an end, it is the journey that redraws the territory of knowledge harvesting."
The paper further stated that the fact that some of the biggest names in technology in the world have agreed to be partners in the tutoring and training of the One Million Arab Coders programme attests to the impact this initiative is poised to deliver.
"There are 3,700 tutors from international companies, 10 global partners and 1,000 scholarships for advanced courses in coding on offer. The combined effort of this collaboration will serve to fill some important gaps between skills and employment opportunities for Arab youth, who comprise 65 per cent of the under-25 population in the Mena region, with a 27 percent rate of unemployment.
"The programme, that has drawn more than 1.1 million applicants from around the Arab world since its launch in 2017, is ensuring that these gaps will be filled by the large numbers of human potential who are being groomed to boost the region’s economy and prospects."
"It is endowing the Arab youth with one of the most important assets in this technological era, fluency in coding, a language that knows no borders," concluded the Dubai-based daily.