Nearly 100 EFE staff members, board members, alumni and special partners from around the world gathered in Dubai from 6-8 March for the annual EFE Summit. As one of the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) most important events advancing a positive vision for Arab youth employment, the EFE Summit’s interactive sessions and panel discussions enabled attendees to exchange best practices and innovation to catalyse Arab youth employment. The event occurs at a critical juncture for MENA: more than 27 million MENA youth will come of working age in the next five years in a region that already struggles with a near-30% youth unemployment rate – the world’s highest.
As a highlight of the EFE Summit, EFE and strategic partner MBC AL AMAL celebrated the potential of Arab youth at the “Transformative Power of a First Job” luncheon on 6 March. At the event, over 150 influencers and leaders from corporations, government and civil society celebrated first job success stories that empower youth to pursue employment and inspire companies to give first-time job seekers a chance. The event speakers, including leaders in the business, philanthropy, and media fields as well as an EFE alumna, emphasized how crucial it is to equip MENA youth with the mindset, skills and opportunities that will enable them to succeed in work and life. During theluncheon, EFE honored over 15 leading companies, philanthropies and individuals whose support has created a transformative impact for unemployed youth in the MENA region.
The Summit was made possible by Lead Sponsor the Velaj Foundation, Strategic Partner MBC AL AMAL, Learning Partner Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Event Partner Moelis & Company, and Film Partner Analog Productions. It was hosted by EFE-UAE, which partners with leading corporates and foundations in the UAE to increase EFE’s local and regional impact and to support the UAE’s vision in empowering youth with skills, education and economic opportunities.