UNITAR to Collaborate with World Economic Forum
UNITAR has joined the Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship, a World Economic Forum initiative hosted by the Schwab Foundation. The Global Alliance, formerly known as the COVID Response Alliance was launched in April 2020 to mobilise support for social entrepreneurs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alliance was launched at the WEF Annual Meeting (22-26 May 2022, Davos, Switzerland), with 100 leading global organizations and an estimated 100,000+ social entrepreneurs. The Alliance collaborates on several key areas with direct relevance to UNITAR, including expanding and streamlining access to high-quality non-financial resources for social enterprises across the world. UNITAR brings to the collaboration our expertise in supporting social entrepreneurs. Our network of alumni and learners will be able to connect with like-minded contributors from around the world.
UNITAR Holds First Hybrid Training Since COVID-19 Pandemic: Supporting Youth Entrepreneurs in Iraq
Participants of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health, and Unemployment – For Youth in Iraq, which concluded in March 2022, enjoyed the first “hybrid” in-person training to be held in a UNITAR programme since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop, in Baghdad, marks the beginning of a new hybrid training model that will combine online training sessions with in-person group learning.
UNITAR has been training young innovators in Iraq since 2016. In the 2021-2022 programme, more than 180 entrepreneurs were equipped with the tools to unlock solutions to today’s complex challenges through startups and small and medium-sized businesses. The latest round of the programme ended on 25 March 2022 with an online public webinar “Empower the Youth: Fostering Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Iraq,” commemorating UNITAR’s trainings in Iraq over the past six years. The panellists in the webinar discussed the most pressing problems among Iraqi youth entrepreneurs and potential solutions that would encourage accessibility and growth for youth.
UNITAR Launches New Digital Health Partnership with Columbia Biz School
On 28 March 2022, UNITAR and Columbia Business School Executive Education signed an agreement to start a new partnership on digital health and technologies. The collaboration was launched with the training course UNITAR Social Entrepreneurship with Digital Health, offering the opportunity to learners in Africa and the Middle East to build their skills on social entrepreneurship and digital technologies in the health industry.
Taught by Carri Chan, professor of business and faculty director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program at the Columbia Business School, the course introduced participants to key trends in health-related digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and analytics. Participants completed self-paced online courses and quizzes and joined webinars and online discussions to learn about the challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship in digital health technologies. “UNITAR Division of Prosperity is excited to collaborate with one of the most innovative and advanced institutions in the world to equip women and young people with the tools to change their communities,” said Mihoko Kumamoto, Director, UNITAR Division for Prosperity. UNITAR is looking forward to creating a positive impact through this unified vision.
UNITAR Expands Gender Empowerment Now! Project in Jordan and Lebanon
The second phase of UNITAR Division for Prosperity’s Gender Empowerment Now! Project was launched on 5 April 2022. Funded by the Cypriot Government, this project aims to build policymaking skills and knowledge on gender equality and female empowerment among government officials in Jordan and Lebanon.
Nearly 50 government officials working on gender equality and women’s empowerment were nominated to join the project by their national councils of women and are enhancing their knowledge and skills in policymaking for gender empowerment. Over 10 weeks, participants will work in country teams to learn how to act on existing gender-mainstreaming initiatives in their ministry and country. Participants will complete self-paced online courses and join expert webinars, group discussions and peer reviews, alongside mentoring and networking sessions.
UNITAR and FAO to Jointly Deliver Online Course on Trade, Food Security and Nutrition
UNITAR signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to deliver a 4-week joint online course for officials from Eastern and Southern Africa. Running from 23 May to 17 June 2022, this course is updated version of a similar 2019 training on trade, food security and nutrition. It is for government representatives who are directly involved in developing agricultural policies.
With the pressing need to support trade-related development in the region, there is an increasing demand to expand the technical capacity of national and regional institutions to map out national, subregional and regional trade priorities and constraints. This course seeks to strengthen officials’ skills to carry out evidence-based trade policies, formulate and negotiate trade agreements, and manage needs for economic growth, food security and structural transformation.
Read the impact stories of our course on Agriculture in International Trade Agreements (2019) and on Trade, Food Security and Nutrition (2020). The stories were published late 2021.
Conference Report: Closing the Digital Divide
On 24 March 2022, UNITAR Division for Prosperity held a virtual conference “Closing the Digital Divide: Strengthening Digital Literacy and Infrastructure” to address the widening digital divide between advanced and developing economies. Over 200 participants listened to a diverse panel of digital-infrastructure developers, service providers, regulators, and facilitators of digital skills programmes who discussed digitization initiatives in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Sahel region.
Panellists talked about approaches to developing digital infrastructures that would create entrepreneurial opportunities to bridge the digital divide. A key takeaway was that such a digital infrastructure could only be effectively developed if users have the necessary skillset. Therefore, digital skills training for youth, women and marginalized communities will be essential to boosting their chances to secure jobs and engage with the digital economy. Beyond digital education, collaborative partnerships in public and private sectors and international actors can create opportunities for digitalization. Regional and local implementation and grass-roots initiatives will all be key to closing the digital divide.
Mele Moimoi, a disaster risk reduction trainer from Tonga, joined the 2021 UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Leadership in Tsunami-based Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Training Programme. The programme strengthened her ability to lead and respond to the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maureen Nduta invested in her start-up organic farming business in the coastal region of Mombasa, Kenya. Maureen applied the entrepreneurial techniques she learned from the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership Training for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa to grow her business and involve the women in her community.
Hosna, a 19-year old Afghan alumna of Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling, continues her studies in Iraq and aims to give back by creating an online learning platform to address the crisis in education and gender biases in Afghanistan.
Raghad Hav participated in the Empowering Social Entrepreneurs and Youth Leaders for Iraq training programme and returned as a UNITAR resource person for the Waffle Camp x SDGs Workshop. Raghad founded She Codes Too, where she teaches Iraqi women to code and address gender stereotypes in the field.
Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor joins the advisory board of UNITAR Division for Prosperity. Hailing from Cameroon, Professor Agbor is Vice President of the Africa Board, Forum for African Women Educationalists. She brings to UNITAR her extensive expertise in education and training and will enhance UNITAR’s presence in the African region in developing entrepreneurship, innovation and policymaking that empower youth, women and the marginalized.
Japanese professional basketball team Hiroshima Dragonflies and UNITAR have agreed to work together towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On 7 April 2022, Hiroshima Dragonflies president and CEO Mr. Nobuyoshi Ura and UNITAR Division for Prosperity director Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto held a ceremony at the UNITAR Hiroshima Office to sign the memorandum of understanding. Hiroshima Dragonflies and UNITAR will make use of their respective strengths to collaborate on four themes: (1) peacebuilding through sports, (2) sustainable development, (3) rectifying wealth disparities and inequalities, and (4) empowering women and youth. A Hiroshima Dragonflies jersey with the UNITAR logo was also introduced at the signing ceremony.
The UNITAR Association (the National Committee for UNITAR in Japan), with UNITAR Division for Prosperity and Moraa Educational Complex (a Kabul-based higher-education institution for women), developed the training programme Capacity-Building of Afghan Women on Financial Resiliency. The Association held a workshop with 25 motivated participants in April 2022. The UNITAR Association has been deeply concerned with the humanitarian crisis that women in Afghanistan face and ran a fundraising campaign in October-November 2021 to create more learning opportunities for them.
In April 2022, the UNITAR Association raised funds to support the humanitarian aid work of the NGO Polish Humanitarian Action, particularly for its project “SOS UKRAINE.” Citizens and communities in Japan contributed nearly USD 6,300 to the campaign. UNITAR Division for Prosperity is deeply concerned about the crisis in Ukraine. We are exploring ways to support the affected people over the medium to long term through our training programmes.
Joining World Innovation Economics Conference
UNITAR Division for Prosperity joined a side event of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, hosted by the World Innovation Economics on 25 May 2022. Mihoko Kumamoto, the Division’s Director, talked about the innovative learning solutions and impact of UNITAR's trainings worldwide. Judit Kozenkow, the Division’s partnerships expert, talked about the education of youth on economics and digitalization for successful business actions. They also discussed options for closing the digital divide.