Israel’s tech boom will include Arabs

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A small satellite called Ramadan will soon be launched to track the moon and detect the start of the lunar month which determines the start of many holidays. This is an initiative of a historic plan by the Israeli government to promote technology and science within Arab Israeli society.

The new Israeli government, in which I am Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, is a government of firsts. It is the first time that an Israeli Arab party has been part of the ruling coalition. I worked with my colleague Mansour Abbas of the Ra’am party and the Ministry of Social Equality on the development of a government investment plan in technology and research and development.

My vision is to use Israeli technology – the foundation of our economy – to help people on the outskirts of society.

Rightly dubbed Impact, the five-year, $ 100 million plan aims to fill a gap in tech jobs. Israel’s Arab community makes up about 20% of the country’s population, but only makes up about 2% of tech workers. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, with more than 12% of Israel’s 9.3 million population, represents just 3% of tech workers.

The plan aims to help the Arab community develop skills to work in science and technology. It will include educational programs, professional training and technology incubators for entrepreneurs and startups. We plan to establish technology and science centers for Arabs, an incubation center with seed funding for promising minority entrepreneurs, and two new research and development centers, one of which is for the Bedouin community.

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