Partnerships to empower Egypt's youth

Generation Unlimited launched its Egyptian version Shabab Balad at the World Youth Forum

UNICEF Egypt & Generation Unlimited
An attendee wearing a Generation Unlimited mask at the World Youth Forum
UNICEF/Egypt 2022/Basma Fathy
13 January 2022

Cairo, January 13, 2022 — Egypt has become the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to launch a local Generation Unlimited. 

The milestone occasion took place in the presence of public and private sector partners at the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum held in Sharm El Shaikh between 10-13 January.

In Egypt, GenU's Public-Private-Youth partnership model will support the country’s 2030 national development vision, aligning education and training with the labour market and entrepreneurship prospects. 

Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation, attending the launch session said, "The 'Shabab Balad' platform a unique cooperation between international agencies represented in the United Nations and other developmental partners who support the initiative, the government, the young people, the civil society, the private sector and young people.”

"I call on the private sector, civil society, and youth to join hands and actively participate in 'Shabab Balad'. Uniting efforts and directing investments will achieve the country’s youth development goals as part of Egypt's Vision 2030," she added.

In a meeting held on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum, Dr Al-Mashat discussed future steps for Shabab Balad's implementation framework. The need for collaborative action by relevant stakeholders was highlighted.  

GenU CEO Kevin Frey and Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation at Shabab Balad's launch.
UNICEF/Egypt 2022/Basma Fathy

Launched in 2018, Generation Unlimited is the first partnership between the government sector, the private sector and youth in the world, aiming to skill and connect the world’s 1.8 billion young people to opportunities in employment, entrepreneurship and social engagement.

"In just this short time, the global initiative has reached 220 million young people with more than 3,000 partners, working in more than 50 countries, providing youth with different career skills, employment, entrepreneurship and creating social impact," said Generation Unlimited CEO Kevin Frey, in his keynote speech during  the launch of Shabab Balad.

Next steps for collective action

At the Forum, GenU CEO Kevin Frey also participated in a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and development partners from international organizations, the private sector and civil society. President Sisi stressed on Egypt's keenness to cooperate with international organizations and benefit from their experiences.

Along with Egyptian Minister Communications and Information Technology Dr Amr Talaat, Dr Frey participated in a session on  "The Future of Technology and Digital Transformation after the Pandemic". It delved into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on information and communications technologies and the role of technology in overcoming challenges in a post-pandemic era.

As part of his engagement with key public sector stakeholders, Dr Frey also met with Egypt's Minister of Youth and Sports Dr Ashraf Sobhi, and the Algerian Minister of Sports, Abderezak Sebgag, who headed his country's delegation to the Forum.

GenU CEO Kevin Frey and Egypt minister Dr Amr Talaat at the launch of Shabab Balad.

The World Youth Forum, an arena which connects young people globally with decision-makers, also saw the GenU CEO hold several discussions with young UNICEF ambassadors who shared their experiences and aspirations for the future.

Building future leaders

Allianz Egypt has become the first private sector firm to pledge support for Shabab Balad, the Egyptian version of Generation Unlimited which launched at the World Youth Forum in Sharm el Sheikh. 

Young people form about one-third of Egypt's population. Shabab Balad, which translates to 'the country's youth', is poised to ensure that they have access to the right skills, training and opportunities for a bright future. The platform will focus on developing the capabilities of Egyptian youth in the four priority areas of education, employability, entrepreneurship and engagement.

Insurance services company Allianz Egypt will support Shabab Balad's mission by providing training programmes to develop these skills, offering career guidance to help young people navigate their careers, as well as sharing guidance to improve financial literacy and digital skills.

A girl at the World Youth Forum
UNICEF/Egypt 2022/Basma Fathy

“We are proud to continue our fruitful cooperation with UNICEF to provide the needed support in order to achieve social integration, social protection, youth empowerment, and support entrepreneurship in Egypt. Since we value the continuous endeavours to advance these fields, Allianz is working on harnessing its expertise in Egyptian society to maximize the benefit of these initiatives to reach sustainable development in line with Egypt Vision 2030,” said Ayman Hegazy, Chairman and CEO of Allianz Companies in Egypt.

Allianz Egypt will also contribute to the “Meshwary” programme, a collaboration between UNICEF and the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS). Meshwary aims to empower young people by helping them develop entrepreneurial skills, in line with the Egypt Vision 2030 agenda. It is currently implemented in 12 of the country's 27 governorates.

“Egypt’s strong vision for 2030, specifically with regard to youth education, entrepreneurship and employment, provides the basis on which the 'Shabab Balad' platform can play an important role in supporting and motivating the progress of the country’s youth,” said Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.

Hopkins added: “The 'Shabab Balad' Platform is not just a programme, but rather a movement that includes the entire society and we are very pleased that our partner Allianz will contribute to this.”