A programme to train and support local startups in producing low cost, environmentally friendly desalination units that can offer a financially viable and sustainable long-term solution to Oman’s farmers has been launched by MEDRC, an international organisation headquartered in Muscat, mandated to find solutions to fresh water scarcity.
A small business that emerges from the programme will be equipped to help farmers tackle the challenge of crop irrigation using the latest solar technologies.
As the economy adapts to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, MEDRC has launched TAHLYA for SMEs programme to support local start-ups in the water treatment sector, boosting job creation and economic growth.
The programme has been launched in partnership with BP Oman and under the patronage of Mohammed Abdullahal Mahrouqi, chairman of Public Authority for Water (DIAM).
Yousuf al Ojaili, president, BP Oman, commented, “Our purpose at BP is to reimagine energy for people and our planet.This is a great example of how we’re doing that – supporting SME understanding of water and energy conservation, a vital part of Oman’s future growth. Training young Omani entrepreneurs in technologies such as solar powered desalination and grey water treatment offers real business opportunities. We’re proud of our partnership with this programme and look forward to seeing what future graduates can achieve.”
MEDRC’s TAHLYA programme has been training young Omanis in desalination since 2017. This new programme will target graduates who are looking to develop their technical skills and start their own business.
The three-month long intensive training course will be delivered virtually at MEDRC’s state-of-the-art training centre in Muscat.
During the virtual launch event, Ciarán Ó Cuinn, director, MEDRC Centre, said, “The TAHLYA for SMEs programme is underpinned by MEDRC’s commitment to look for ways to produce low cost, environment-friendly water and Oman’s national objective of fostering the growth of private enterprise. Through the support of our partners we will deliver a comprehensive training programme that will build the capacity of our brightest young graduates and put them on the pathway to self-employment and job creation.”
The list of programme partners includes the Public Authority of Water (Diam), Oman’s Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada), and Sharakah.
Mahrouqi the guest of honour, said, “We are proud to partner with BP Oman, MEDRC, Riyada and Sharakah. We have worked closely with the programme steering committee members to put a project linking our technical and business expertise together with great national expertise in water supply, business enterprise and entrepreneurship. Diam’s role includes advising on potential revenue streams for new businesses and offering key insights into the tendering process.”
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