Iraq, Sulaymaniyah, 30 May 2021 – Following its commitment to boosting youth employment and strengthening Iraq’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Asiacell today signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq.
The MoU commits the leading telecommunications company and the UNDP Iraq to work together on several initiatives, including supporting young entrepreneurs and start-ups in developing innovative solutions to local challenges alongside UNDP Iraq’s Accelerator Labs; Also supporting an online platform designed to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors; and promoting opportunities for long-term, sustainable youth employment. Youth-led efforts tackling the COVID-19 pandemic will also be covered under the MoU, with a particular focus on the awareness-raising platform Corona in Iraq (https://stayhome.iq/).
“Through their passion, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, young Iraqis today are the agents of change and have the potential to build a resilient and inclusive Iraq – particularly as the country moves on from multiple crises, including the ISIL conflict, the economic difficulties due to declining oil prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we are proud to partner with Asiacell to nurture young talent, but also help secure the future of Iraqi youth by providing long-term employment training and support,” says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
“Partnering with the UNDP is a valuable addition to our continuous programmes, which will yield a positive impact on the Iraqi youth. The many challenges entrepreneurs face does not end with the successful founding of a company around a product or a service in Iraq. The Iraqi unfertile technology business ecosystem coupled with the pandemic has made the transition from science to sales even more complex for start-up companies that launched before March 2020, as markets, funding sources, and priorities have shifted. We are full of confidence that this new set of initiatives we are working on right now will have an immeasurable positive effect on the Iraqi economy.” says Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Asiacell, Amer Al-Sunna.
The MoU was developed based on the recommendation of the solid study of Iraq’s economic recovery from COVID-19 to expand social security coverage for vulnerable groups, increase revenue generation from partners like Asiacell to fund key development programmes, and allocate more resources to develop the private sector.
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About UNDP Iraq
Present in Iraq since 1976, UNDP Iraq supports the Government and people of Iraq during their transition towards reconciliation, reform and stability. Focus areas include strengthening stabilization and social cohesion in areas affected by ISIL; diversifying economic growth for sustainable employment; improving governance with accountable institutions that protect the rights of vulnerable groups and pave the way for citizen-state trust; and decreased fragility to climate change.
Asiacell is the leading mobile telecommunications and digital services provider in Iraq, exceeding a subscriber base of 14.7 million satisfied customers as of January 1st, 2021. Asiacell is recognised as the first mobile carrier to operate in Iraq and the first to achieve full nationwide coverage, offering quality 4G services across all Iraqi governorates. Asiacell’s network covers 99.06% of the Iraqi population, making its national network the most extensive among the other two mobile operators in Iraq. Since January 2015, Asiacell is proud to be the best internet service provider offering the highest quality network in Iraq.