16 February 2017
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GE Africa (Lagos)

Arab Youth Can Provide the Spark for Regional Innovation

Photo: GE Hewar
Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, said, “GE recognizes the tremendous potential that this region’s youth have to offer companies of all sizes, and the broader economy as a whole.

Innovation. How to nurture and tap it is on the minds of every CEO and managing director across the region and the world. So, what's the secret ingredient that companies should be adding to their innovation recipe? Young people.

Young people bring new perspectives, fresh passion, undeniable energy, and unencumbered problem solving. For countries and companies looking to spark the next big innovation – or to simply improve efficiency and productivity – fresh graduates and other young people can be the key.

That's why GE is a partner of Injaz Al Arab's Expand Your Horizon program to encourage students and Arab youth in the region to consider exciting futures in the private sector. Expand Your Horizon is designed to encourage young people aged 16-24 to consider employment with private companies or to build their own companies, as they pursue innovation and entrepreneurship.

The program uses public service announcements, internships with major multinationals and other outreach activities to build interest and understanding among students regarding the wide range of opportunities beyond the government sector, in fields such as aviation, media, hospitality, and technology.

GE will offer Expand Your Horizon internships in technology and other innovation areas within its regional operations to enthusiastic, passionate, smart students and youth from across the Middle East. After completing their internships, students will become part of the INJAZ Alumni Network for long-term impact assessment, and ongoing mentorship and peer support.

GE has also helped Injaz Al Arab develop Public Service Announcement videos to highlight the types of career opportunities available in the digital industrial sector in the region and with GE.

Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, said, "GE recognizes the tremendous potential that this region's youth have to offer companies of all sizes, and the broader economy as a whole. As the world's digital industrial company, GE thrives on the innovation that comes from the diversity of our employees, including students and recent university graduates."

The Expand Your Horizon project is now entering its second phase, following a successful pilot program in 2016. Along with GE, other Phase 2 corporate partners include Marriott International, Deloitte, MBC, and Hill + Knowlton.

For more than five years, GE has been a partner to Injaz programs across the region, including in AlgeriaSaudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt as part of its support to boosting skills and capacity building in the region and fostering entrepreneurism.

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