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News || Friday, 15 November 2013

In Morocco, The Rockefeller Foundation Funds New Souktel Mobile Job Service

Strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, Morocco has long been a key link between global markets. But the country’s youth still struggle to find work--even as sectors like tourism, textiles and agriculture continue to grow. Sometimes the problem is as simple as not knowing where the jobs are: Roughly half of all Moroccans lack web access, and close to one-third can’t read.

Now that reality is changing: This month, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded Souktel a Centennial Innovation Challenge Grant to launch new mobile phone job information services for young Moroccans. By letting job-seekers create “mini CVs,” search job listings, and connect with local employers via audio and SMS, the service aims to bridge the information gaps in the country’s labor market.

The new grant was awarded through Rockefeller’s Centennial Innovation Challenge, a competition launched in search of solutions that improve livelihoods for poor or vulnerable workers in informal economies. It also comes at a time when the Foundation is placing new emphasis on job creation through technology: Earlier this year, The Rockefeller Foundation launched Digital Jobs Africa--an initiative which aims to impact 1 million lives in six African countries (including Morocco) by “catalyzing [IT] employment opportunities and skills training” for African youth who have high potential but are disadvantaged.

“We’re deeply honored to receive this support from The Rockefeller Foundation,” offered Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum. “The Foundation’s commitment to promoting innovation in the job sector is tremendous. With this funding, we look forward to enhancing Moroccans’ access to sustainable jobs.” He adds: “Low literacy or web access shouldn’t be a barrier to employment. By creating accessible mobile solutions, we aim to level the playing field and ensure that everyone gets equal access to available work, regardless of their background.”