DOHA, Qatar, June 2, 2008 - Cisco announced today that the company will deepen its commitment to supporting Arab youth by designating its globalisation center to support Silatech, an initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar, in developing a region-wide technology platform. Cisco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Chambers will oversee Cisco's commitment on Silatech's board of trustees.
The technology platform will include innovative applications that will help enable instant interaction and on-demand collaboration amongst businesses and individuals alike, including face-to-face video meetings and blogging.
Cisco Chief Globalisation Officer and Executive Vice President Wim Elfrink said, "Cisco will help Silatech scale promising youth-led enterprise and regional collaboration through the use of cutting-edge informational communications technologies (ICT) to stimulate scalable economic and social development projects across the region. Through our globalisation center, we will be building upon our knowledge and expertise in workforce development programs to create a favorable environment for ICT education and allow individuals to interact with their prospective employees in a fast and highly secure manner." Elfrink will lead the strategic collaboration with Silatech.
Silatech is an innovative initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, with broad support from other leaders and organizations both regionally and internationally. It is being created to address the critical and growing need to create new jobs and opportunities for young people globally, starting in the Arab World-the region with the highest rates of youth unemployment and under-employment. Silatech's vision is aligned with Cisco's intent to use the network as the platform to drive scalable, sustainable business models that can help lift the social and economic status of youth.
Chairman of the Silatech Executive Committee and board member Rick Little said, "Cisco's strategic collaboration with Silatech introduces the power of Web 2.0 to build and support sustainable entrepreneurship and job creation opportunities. We aim to deploy a mix of traditional and social networking tools to connect today's youth with other entrepreneurs and established businesses across the region."
Another key part of this collaboration is the creation of youth targeted entrepreneur centers whereby Silatech and Cisco will collaborate with local partners to roll-out the Entrepreneur Institute in five Arab countries within the next 12 months. The Institute will help facilitate the development of entrepreneurial businesses by offering three training tracks designed for entrepreneurs seeking to start their own business, grow their business or deploy information and communications technology (ICT) to help accelerate their business success.
Cisco was named a founding member and global strategic technology provider for Silatech during the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum held in Madrid in January 2008. Cisco's role will comply with laws applicable to Cisco products and technology.
Silatech is an innovative initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, with broad support from other leaders and organizations both regionally and internationally, including Cisco, the ILO, the World Bank Global Partnership for Youth Investment, and the ImagineNations Group, among others. Silatech supports country-by-country led strategies (within a regional framework and approach) to connect young people to employment opportunities, provide business development services, and promote the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises.