Media Item

News

News || Friday, 01 April 2011

Google-Sponsored Summit Highlights Growing Need for Souktel Services

It was Mohamed Bouazizi, a struggling 26-year-old fruit vendor with few resources and a lot of debt, whose death provoked a nation-wide revolt in Tunisia, leading to the resignation of its former president this past January -- and triggering a wave of change across the Middle East and North Africa.
.
The challenge Bouazizi dealt with on a day-to-day basis -- high youth unemployment -- has become a hot topic as states across this region look to build new governments and overhaul their economies.
.
Technology will likely be central to these new plans: Facebook and mobiles helped drive events across the region; now decision-makers are focusing on these platforms’ abilities to solve larger underlying problems -- like the need for better ways to link youth with jobs. Souktel's JobMatch service, which puts employers in contact with young job-seekers via text-messaging, has already seen an upsurge in demand since January.
.
“We’ve been fielding calls from recruitment firms and aid agencies that deliver employment services in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon,” explains co-founder Jacob Korenblum. “In light of what’s been happening, there’s a new sudden push to get this technology on the ground in more places, and fast”.
.
To lay the groundwork for this growth, Souktel's Amber Houssian will travel to Beirut next month to speak about the mobile JobMatch service at ArabNet, an event billed as “the largest digital gathering in the Middle East”. Hosted in collaboration with Google, the ArabNet conference will see Houssian share Souktel’s story, and its potential to help youth in the “new Middle East”, alongside speakers from TechCrunch and web start-up Groupon.
.
Google's marketing manager for the Middle East, Wael Ghonim -- who gained notoriety for being imprisoned after organizing protests in Egypt using networking sites like Facebook -- has already stressed the relevance and timeliness of ArabNet.
.
"[Technology] users [in the Middle East] are growing at a much faster pace than available services," he said in a statement on the conference's website. "At Google we believe that initiatives such as ArabNet are crucial for the community as [they] bring all the stakeholders into one place to make a difference."
.
Read more about ArabNet here: www.arabnet.me