Over the past seven years, Gaza has endured three wars. The most recent conflict between Hamas and Israel has left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and more than 10,000 injured. Currently, Gaza is under an Israeli-imposed blockade that prevents people from leaving and goods from entering the region. The economy is on the verge of collapse. A report published by World Bank states that Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world. Youth unemployment is even worse, at a staggering 60%.
To help provide access to jobs, a US based charity, Mercy Corps, has found a way to harness the internet—the one piece of infrastructure that is still in good shape. They’ve created a nonprofit technology hub, which has helped provide jobs and support to young Gazans who are interested in the information technology field. Gaza Sky Geeks, which gets its funding from Google and other prominent organizations based in the United States, is a tech incubator that facilitates startups and helps them develop into viable businesses. It assists startups by giving them a workspace. It also provides young entrepreneurs with training, consultation and also helps them find investment.
Several startups that have come out of the Gaza Sky Geeks have become very successful in the Arab world. More than two thousand Gazans have participated in their programs. Although Gaza faces major economic challenges because of the blockade, the digital economy facilitated by Gaza Sky Geeks is providing at least some with a potential path towards economic success.
Read the full story here (via Quartz)
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Photo: Fast Coexist
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