HTU, Sahara Forest Project announce new edition of upskilling program

[03-05-2021 02:28 PM]

Ammon News - Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) and Sahara Forest Project, on Monday, announced the start of the online application process for the second cohort of their joint upskilling program, which will consider job-seeking female holders of bachelor’s degrees in relevant disciplines.

In a statement, the university said that the goal of the program is to build the capacity and outreach network for 30 job-seeking, Jordanian engineers in agricultural technology within the context of the Water-Energy-Food nexus in Jordan. This collaboration was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the University and Norwegian-registered Sahara Forest Project following the Norwegian Royal visit to Amman in March 2020.

The training will be divided between HTU’s campus at the King Hussein Business Park in Amman and the Sahara Forest Project site in Aqaba, and will be led by Jordanian and international experts on water and greenhouse technology, aquaponics, sustainable energy management, and agricultural economics, in addition to non-technical training focusing on the English language and employability skills. The content in the programme, the statement added, is designed based on input from industrial partners such as MIRRA- Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture, and Mujeb Organic farm.

Professor Ismael Hinti, President of the HTU, said: "In these challenging and transformative times, we are committed to fostering the Kingdom’s self-reliance when it comes to the energy, water, and food sectors. We will continue to serve and empower females in our community with the same level of commitment we have demonstrated on the preceding phase of the Sahara Forest Project."

Managing Director of the Sahara Forest Project, Kjetil Stake, said: "We are happy to launch the new edition of this successful and inspirational training program. It is a question of pride and dignity to share our knowledge and give access to our unique infrastructure to local female talents. The feedback, enthusiastic drive, network and positive energy we get back from the trainees in return is also good for our developing business in Aqaba".

The first cohort of the program was launched and with group of 13 females. The program was concluded in February 2021 and throughout, the participants were guided by two mentors: international sustainability consultant Ms. Ruba al-Zu´bi and operations manager for Mujeb Organic farms Zeina Fakhreddin. For the second cohort, Ruba and Zeina will continue their work as mentors and will be joined by Jordanian entrepreneur Ms. Malak Al Akiely.

Yasmine Hmaid, an alumna of the first cohort said: "I was lucky to be among the 13 agricultural engineers who participated in this training program. This project is dedicated to support and empower women to take leadership positions in the agriculture sector and support the application of modern agriculture technology in Jordan. It is an honor to be in this training course to lead the way in sustainable agriculture, join the workforce, and inspire other females and to be part of making our environment better"

Mentor Ruba Al-Zu´bi expressed her enjoyment to be part of the training, and said, "I am privileged to serve as a mentor throughout the 2 cohorts and can't wait to meet the 2nd wave of the lucky Jordanian women about to embark into a unique journey of personal and professional development. Not only that, this program brings female engineers to the field to be equipped with market-oriented skills and knowledge, but equally important; it triggers a redefinition of the relationship between us 'humans' and earth and how each of us can and should contribute to a more sustainable future. It is really a journey full of reflection and development.

Malak Al Akiely a mentor who joined recently, pointed that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian-based cruiseline company Costa Crociere are still crucial collaboration partners to realize the new edition-training programme.

"I am delighted that the partnership between Sahara Forest Project and HTU has been renewed. The program supports Jordan’s ambitions on food security and sustainable agriculture whilst at the same time promoting female entrepreneurship. I look forward to seeing the new students in action," the statement quoted Norway’s Ambassador to Jordan Tone Allers as saying.

Davide Triacca, Secretary General of the Costa Crociere Foundation & Sustainability Director at Costa Crociere said: "Our collaboration with Sahara Forest Project and HTU was based on the aim of bringing about measurable and sustainable results, for the benefit of the people and the environment. The success of the first training course was a clear demonstration of that. Now a new group of 15 young female engineers will have the chance to benefit of such an innovative and ambitious project and to truly make a difference. "

The training programme will end with a graduation ceremony in September 2021.

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