Qualifying young Iraqis to gain employment in innovative technologies

Project description

Title: ICT - Prospects for a modern youth in Iraq
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Iraq
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning Iraq (MoP)
Overall term: 2017 to 2023

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Almost two-thirds of Iraqis are under 25 years of age, and many are internally displaced persons or refugees from neighbouring countries. There are few job opportunities, and; 1 in 6 of the total workforce is unemployed.

Employment opportunities are dwindling in the country's two main employment sectors, the oil industry, and the public sector. Furthermore there has been slow development in the private sector which has exacerbated the situation.

Young Iraqis are increasingly interested in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) as a possible area of work. The technical prerequisites for this are in place with mobile broadband internet available almost nationwide, enabling flexible working. However, neither vocational training nor university curricula meet the labour market’s requirements. The founding of successful startups is still rare due to the lack of government support structures and insufficient access to loans or capital from investors.


Young job seekers in Iraq, are benefiting from superior employment prospects in the field of ICT and the evolving ecosystem in Iraq, in addition to enhancing the scientific skills of the youth.

The ecosystem for tech start-ups creates long-term job opportunities by pairing entrepreneurs with suitable investors, potential employers, and customers.

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The project works to improve the job prospects in the ICT sector and the living situation of young people in Iraq. It does this by:

  • Setting up innovation hubs with coworking spaces and equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and robotics equipment. They also offer practical business trainings and programming courses to qualify young people to meet labour market needs or prepare for self-employment.
  • Matching participants after training with interested investors and potential employers.
  • Encouraging Iraqi investors to see start-ups as investment opportunities and providing local tech companies with qualified recruits
  • Contributing to conflict reduction and promoting social cohesion. Innovation hubs in different regions are interlinked, reducing conflict potential by promoting joint-problem-solving and dialogue

Last update: October 2022

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Additional information


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