Lamya Marafi

Building an Egypt@Work, a Focus on Skills and Entrepreneurship

NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM) and The International Youth Foundation (IYF), in partnership with MasterCard Foundation, recently launched Egypt@Work – a program focusing on reducing youth unemployment and promoting entrepreneurship in Egypt.

Formally launched in August 2011, Egypt@Work is collaborating with local NGOs and donors and even the private sector to adapt to the needs of both men and women in providing training and workshops. Trainings and workshops will be conducted in various disciplines such as information technology, management, marketing, critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution, effective work habits, and career counseling in attempt to face the job market competition and the rising youth unemployment rate.

Though not specifically targeting a specific community or governorate, Egypt@Work will conduct labor market assessments to identify the industry sectors and occupations with the greatest labor demand and thus know the specific skills required for employment and communities or governorates that have disadvantaged youth.

There were not any significant challenges in funding the program, as NM will fund and oversee all activities of local implementing partners. However, changing in ministries and the administrative approval delayed the process after the revolution.

“We recognize that the political uncertainly and the economic recession – both global and in Egypt – will increase the challenge of moving this program forward. We believe Egypt is a very promising environment – given the large highly skilled, well-educated middle class and the highly entrepreneurial culture of Egyptian society,” says Katie Raymond, Egypt@Work program manager at the IYF.