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Monstarlab establishes software engineering lab in Gaza Strip, aspires to boost job creation

Mar 09, 2022

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Monstarlab Holdings, Inc. (hereinafter “Monstarlab”), a leading digital consultancy with on-the-ground expertise in 18 countries, announces that it’s feasibility study in the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian Authority (hereinafter “Gaza Strip”) has reached its final stage with the formation of an engineering team and the commencement of operations.

The project, which was established with the dual-purpose of reducing local social challenges through job creation while supporting the company’s endeavours to establish a stronger global presence, was selected for JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)’s “Feasibility Survey for SDGs Business on Software Development for Economic Independence of Refugee and Young People through Employment and Technical Training on IT Product Development” in 2018. It is the company’s expectations that the project supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8: Decent work and Economic Growth, 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and 10: Reduced inequalities.

Background of the project

In 2018, Monstarlab’s proposal, which aimed at creating tech employment opportunities, was selected for the JICA Fund. Since then, the project team has visited a number of locations, including Jordan and Gaza, Palestine, to identify the best opportunity for a significant positive impact while maintaining a sustainable business.

In the Gaza Strip, decade-long political unrest has hampered economic development, with a resulting 60+ % high unemployment rate among young people.

Research showed, among others, that Monstarlab would be able to positively impact some of the challenges in the Gaza Strip through the creation of employment opportunities. Simultaneously, the establishment of the company’s new offices in Dubai (2019) and Saudi Arabia (2021) stressed the urgency for hiring Arabic-speaking engineers. The research concluded that the company could move to the next step and establish a special employment scheme in the Gaza Strip.

From feasibility study to operations

Due to the local circumstances, Monstarlab has signed an agreement with Gaza Sky Geeks, an organisation run by the US-based NGO Mercy Corps, which promotes the formation of a tech community in the Gaza Strip. Gaza Sky Geeks will be responsible for recruiting talent in the Gaza Strip and outsourcing to Monstarlab Bangladesh, a subsidiary and strategic development base in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Monstarlab Bangladesh will train and manage the new employees.

The company’s new employees in the Gaza Strip will play a vital role in the positioning and strengthening of Monstarlab’s activities, including in the MENA region as well as Japan where Monstarlab is focusing on becoming the go-to-partner for the development of digital transformation (DX) projects. 

 

Comment from ABE Toshiya, Chief Representative of JICA Palestine Office:

I would like to express my heartfelt respect to Monstarlab Holdings, Inc. for their efforts to use the power of IT to bring hope and opportunities to young people in the very difficult environment of Gaza. We have been working with your company on this project since 2018, and now we are finally ready to start operations. The reconstruction and economic and social development of Gaza is an important mission for JICA. In particular, we need to provide employment and opportunities for young people who will be responsible for the future. Let’s work together to tackle this difficult task. I look forward to the continued success of your company.

 

Comment from Hiroki Inagawa, Monstarlab’s Group Chief Executive Officer:

“The project, which we have been working on with JICA since 2018, is really taking shape and we are ready to start digital product development in the Gaza Strip.

The digital realm, such as programming, is a job that can be done from anywhere with a computer and the Internet and without physical limitations.

During the years, I have visited the area several times. I have visited universities and organisations, met many young people, and felt the potential of the local youth.

It is my clear conviction that Monstarlab can create a team that will be recognised by the world, a place where young people play an active role in the local economic development, and fertile soil for entrepreneurs and engineers who contribute to improving the future.”

Comment from Kazuki Nakayama, Project Leader of SDGs Project:

“I am excited that we have finally reached the next starting line after four years of hard work and with great support from JICA and many other partner organisations and companies.

I would like to express my gratitude to the JICA staff, our partner organisations, Kiitos Technologies and its Talent Acceleration Program (TAP), and our team members.

Further to the positive impact our new operations can have in this region, I am also thrilled by the opportunity to expand in the Middle East, as we strengthen our Arabic language and culture capabilities.”

Picture taken during a visit by Monster Lab and JICA to Gaza Sky Geeks in 2019.

 

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