12 December 2016, Hiroshima, Japan – The UNITAR Hiroshima Office has successfully completed the first workshop of the UNITAR Iraq Fellowship Programme: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training, held in Amman, Jordan, from 28 November to 2 December. The Fellowship is a six-month specialized capacity-building programme, incorporating two face-to-face international workshops, implemented with the generous support of the Government of Japan, that examines entrepreneurship and youth leadership in the context of Iraq.

Twenty-four Fellows, including eight women, from various public sector, private sector, academic institutions, and civil society organizations participated in the training. The Fellows, young leaders from various sectors of Iraqi society, began their learning journey with Workshop I, gaining knowledge and skills vital to promoting entrepreneurship, and by extension, the reconstruction and development of the Republic of Iraq. Learning-by-doing was the main training method of the Workshop, and Fellows improved their understanding of the key processes of organizational needs assessments.

The workshop also facilitated active south-south exchanges between entrepreneurs in Jordan and Iraq. Five entrepreneur beneficiaries from UNDP Jordan shared stories of how they overcame challenges in starting their business. Fellows shared their own experiences and insights on how to work in difficult, unstable environments like Iraq and were encouraged to exchange ideas and help each other in times of need.

One of the Fellows who participated in Workshop I, Ranya Sabah Bakr, said, "I've gained knowledge about many things that will be beneficial for my team, institution, and community. I think the entire programme was designed with caution to meet the needs of the young Iraqi entrepreneurs, and the discussions helped us find common grounds between sectors.”

Another Fellow, Yousuf Ihsan Khattab Al-Rawi, said, "This training was particularly important because it tackled the issues organizations face when building projects that address a community’s needs, plus it introduced us to new concepts and methods that will help us implement projects more efficiently. The training was a good chance to build bridges between different sectors of the Iraqi community."

UNITAR Hiroshima Office Head Mihoko Kumamoto commented, “Iraq has a large proportion of young people. Nearly 50 percent of Iraqi people are under 19 years old. These young people need education and employment so they can fulfill their dreams and become the driving force for a prosperous Iraq. Against this background, we are extremely honored to work with the Governments of Japan and Iraq, and the vibrant civil society of Iraq, to launch this training programme on social entrepreneurship for Iraqi youth.”

Photos - Fellows participating in Workshop I of the UNITAR Iraq Fellowship Programme


About the Fellowship

The Fellowship aims to cultivate the social entrepreneurship and project-development knowledge, skills, and attitudes of selected Iraqi professionals and features a blended learning methodology and includes asynchronous and online training, coupled with two international workshops. Each workshop will be linked by participant-led projects examining challenges and opportunities as they exist in Iraq today. Workshop II will be held in Hiroshima, Japan, in March 2017.

At UNITAR Hiroshima

Shamsul Hadi SHAMS (Mr.) | e-mail: shamsul.shams@unitar.org | Phone: +81 82 511 2424

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