Muscat, Feb 5 – There has been an increase in the number of productive families across the Sultanate, contributing to both social and economic development, said Dr Yahya al Maawali, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD). During a joint meeting with the Al Raffd Fund, he said: “The Tamkeen programme, an initiative to back low-income families, aims to discover the abilities of a member of the family or the family as a whole and support them to start a business.”
According to the programme indicators, the number of studied cases in 2017 reached 656, while the total number of cases that adopted a self-project stood at 17. Thirty people got a job in the public sector and 52 in the private sector. A total of 60 were referred for training in a particular profession and 92 for on-the-job training. Mona al Futaisi, Head of the Family Empowerment Department, spoke about the challenges facing implementation of Tamkeen. “Challenges include fear of losing security pension, absence of special mechanism in the private sector to help provide facilities and privileges for persons under social security umbrella and the distance to private sector institutions from residential areas,” she said.
Al Futaisi made some suggestions to get the best out of the programme. “We need to develop training and educational programmes aimed at increasing knowledge in terms of services provided by support agencies such as Al Raffd Fund, Oman Development Bank and others. We also need training courses for entrepreneurs.”
She also suggested the need to include issues related to economic empowerment in awareness programmes conducted by regional offices, besides dealing with Tamkeen as a national project by involving partners from both public and private sectors in its implementation. Tamkeen is a programme adopted by MoSD, Raffd, ODB and Ministy of Manpower. It is aimed at enabling families to become self-reliant, whether through direct employment, training and qualification on the job or by encouraging them to start their own income-generating projects.
Zainab al Nassri