Government of Egypt affirmed placing youth at the forefront of its priorities
UN Regional Conference on Youth concludes with substantial commitments from participating governments
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Cairo, 25 May 2022- The two-day United Nations Regional High-level Conference on Youth, which was held in the Jordanian capital, Amman, concluded today with substantial commitments from the governments of Arab countries towards young people’s learning, skilling, and transition to decent work. Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports confirmed Egypt’s efforts to support youth under a national strategy in line with the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030.
The delegations of 20 participating Arab countries announced their national commitment to transiting young people to work through training and skilling at the conclusion of the conference, which was held on the 23rd and 24th of May under the umbrella of the United Nations Arab States Issue-Based Coalition for Adolescents and Youth, which includes the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The meeting aimed to address means of strengthening links between learning and the labour market. These include enhancing education systems, including skilling and technical and vocational education and training, strengthening links between learning and the labour market, enhancing policies, and exploring opportunities with the private sector to create jobs and support youth entrepreneurship.
Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports confirmed that Egypt sought to support young people and put them at the forefront of its priorities and said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports had prepared the National Youth Strategy 2022-2027 in cooperation with UNFPA in line with the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030.
The Minister of Youth and Sports headed a high-level official Egyptian delegation that participated in the conference, which included Dr. Mohamed Megahed, Deputy Minister of Education and Technical Education, and representatives of youth in Egypt, in the presence of Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, Dr. Ghada Makadi, Partnerships and Generation Unlimited Lead at United Nations and representatives of private sector companies and other UN organizations.
During the conference, Dr. Ashraf Sobhi announced the Egyptian government’s commitment to youth, stating “by 2027, there will be 13 million young people (46% of Egypt’s youth) in Egypt enrolled in continuing education, have received training, a decent job, or have the opportunity to become a leader or an entrepreneur and participate positively in their communities.”
This national commitment is based on three main pillars: education, training and skilling, and participation. In addition to communication and digital access, which will be achieved through the cooperation between the four International Organizations participating in the UN Arab States Issue-Based Coalition for Adolescents and Youth (UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, and UNICEF) and the relevant ministries, the private sector and civil society.
On the side-lines of the conference, the Minister of Youth and Sports met with UNICEF Representative in Egypt, Jeremy Hopkins to discuss bilateral cooperation. Egyptian efforts to support youth were also praised by United Nations officials during the conference, which was held under the slogan ‘Learning to Earning’.
At the beginning of 2022, Egypt witnessed the launch of ‘Shabab Balad’ initiative, the first national version of the global initiative, ‘Generation Unlimited’ which was launched by the United Nations in 2018 and is now operating in 50 countries around the world. ‘Shabab Balad’ aims to reach 28 million Egyptian youth aged 10-24 years, representing 27% of the total population, and provide them with opportunities to learn, train and acquire skills that enhance their employability, in addition to instilling the concept of entrepreneurship.
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For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/