4. The Region Produces A Highly Educated Workforce
Kurdistan has 11 public and ten private universities. Many teach in English. This strength in education is complemented by the arrival of skilled Iraqis from other parts of the country and of Iraqi professionals returning home from working abroad. English is increasingly spoken as a second or third language. Access to talent is of course essential for any company. New tech startups in Kurdistan benefit greatly from an increased pool of highly educated candidates.
5. Kurdistan is already attracting investment as Iraq’s tech business hub
There are a number of reasons why Kurdistan is fast becoming a tech ecosystem hub. They include the trickle-down benefits from natural resource revenue, heavy regional investment, the production of highly educated new graduates, an entrepreneurial spirit and an inspired appetite to “catch up” with impressive Middle Eastern tech development elsewhere.
Another important factor in Kurdistan’s favour is the influx of foreign nationals in the last decade. More skilled professionals from other countries have chosen Kurdistan to live and work than any other region in Iraq.
This expat community mixed with the above reasons has attracted investment from tech businesses from neighbouring countries including Lebanon, Syria and Jordan over the last 18 months. These companies have chosen to set up in Kurdistan, having clearly noted the ripe business opportunity.
The final word
Growth of the Kurdistan tech ecosystem will have a positive impact on the entire country, not just the Kurdistan Region. There is still much work to be done and the government can certainly do more to help the tech sector progress. For now however, Iraq’s Kurdistan region has a very promising near future, and it is this region that is uniquely placed to power the country’s tech ecosystem growth in coming years.