The MENA region is at a critical juncture in its development. For over twenty years, the region has had the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. Over the past decade, a large number of interventions have been developed to improve employment outcomes for young people. While many of these interventions are thought to have benefited individual participants (few have undergone rigorous evaluation) they have not had a tangible impact on the circumstances of the region’s youth overall. In the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring, there is an urgent imperative to make tangible improvements in
the opportunities and livelihoods of the region’s youth.

The premise of this conference is that a more comprehensive approach to youth economic inclusion is needed, supported by the creation of local urban ecosystems that enhance youth entrepreneurship and economic opportunity at the grassroots level. Such ecosystems come about through the joint eorts of local governments, civil society and the private sector.

Conference cross-cutting themes: gender and low-income groups.
Official languages: Arabic and English

* All sessions will have simultaneous translation.
** Main findings will be collected as tweeted ideas to be shared during the Wrap-up Session.

MENA Child and Youth Program (MENA CYP)

Founded in 1980, with permanent headquarters in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) is a regional, non-governmental, non-profit urban research, technical and consulting organization. Audi is the technical and scientific arm of the Arab Towns Organization (ATO), has an active membership of more than 550 Arab cities and towns representing 22 Arab states.

A major goal of the Institute is the enhancement of the quality of municipal services in Arab towns and cities. This is achieved through professional and technical support to municipalities, and municipal ocials and administrators. The Institute is also dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the character and heritage of Arab Towns



Silatech is a Qatar-based social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world. The organization promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Founded in 2008 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Silatech finds innovative solutions to challenging problems, working with a wide spectrum of development organizations, governments and the private sector to foster sustainable, positive change for Arab youth.


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