Madayn to host first MENA Women’s Congress

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Malak Al Shaibani, Director General – Marketing & Media, Madayn

Empowering women through coding the theme of the MENA Women’s Congress that will be held from October 14-16 in Muscat

The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn, represented by the National Business Centre, in association with US-based CTEK Foundation, is gearing up to organise the first MENA Women’s Congress in the Sultanate of Oman to focus on coding. The unique event will focus on empowering women through coding capabilities that will be held from October 14 -16, 2019 at the Kempinski Hotel, Muscat.

Sponsored by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the MENA Women’s Congress in Oman comes under the initiative of the CTEK foundation. The initiative aims at supporting women in the region by crafting programmes that give women opportunities to learn coding as a business through online learning, digital bonding and forming a community through women-only business incubators.

Ahead of the congress, a pilot website coding programme will be launched in Oman for a number of Omani women from different governorates from October 8-13, 2019. The programme aims at teaching women not only how to code to get a job, but how to form an online business to create jobs for more women like themselves, and empower them with the skills to earn income from their own businesses. The congress will then discuss the outcomes of the pilot coding programme and explore ways to continue enhancing coding capabilities among women in the Sultanate.

Malak Al Shaibani, Director General – Marketing & Media, Madayn, talks about the much-anticipated MENA Women’s Congress 2019.

What is the idea behind MENA Women’s Congress 2019?

The MENA Women’s Congress is part of the MENA women initiative of CTEK, a non-profit US based organisation that seeks to break down barriers to entrepreneurship worldwide, this is the first time that the MENA Women’s Congress is held in Oman. Organised by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn, the event will feature over 30 delegates representing Oman and some of the MENA countries with the aim of designing programmes and solutions for women to create their own businesses. The first pilot programme that teaches graduates the skills of coding and entrepreneurship will be run in Oman with a sample of 15 women who at the end of an intensive 50-hour programme will have the skill set and confidence to start their own business or code for others. In fact, the MENA women initiative aims to use technology to allow women have better access to business opportunities globally and to provide them with skills that allow them to create their own jobs and income hence contributing to the well-being of their families.

What are the key points of discussion during the Congress?

Key points is to look at obstacles and changes facing women in starting their own business in the different regions. We will also examine some of the possible solutions that could help in getting more women to start their own business or even find jobs that can allow them to earn an income while also staying at home, we will also review the results of the Oman pilot and come up with a clear action plan that will support the programme and make it sustainable. We will also identify the various stakeholders in the ecosystem who need to be engaged to support this programme. We are actually delighted that PDO is sponsoring the congress because of its strong belief in supporting entrepreneurship and providing them with the skills needed to compete in a digital world.

What can participants of the Congress expect over the three days?

There will be plenty of opportunities to network, share insights and also learn from each other. The delegates of the programme are inspiring women who represent sectors of banking and finance, academia, entrepreneurship, technology and education. The delegates will actively participate in crafting a strategy and an action plan to create a sustainable programme that will give opportunities to women in the region and allow them access to global markets.

How can one be a part of MENA Women’s Congress 2019?

This year it is by invitation only since it is a meeting however, one can support the graduates of the pilot by providing them with contracts, business opportunities or support the programme by sponsoring the next batch of women.