FHI 360 will be conducting three Arab Youth and Employability symposia in 2013 and 2014 to explore the social, political, cultural and economic factors that contribute to systematic exclusion of youth — particularly young women — from the workforce in the Middle East and North Africa. The symposia, the first of which will be held in Morocco in 2013, will focus on youth and unemployment in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The events build on the first Arab Youth and Employability Symposium, held in 2011 in Doha, Qatar. That symposium was organized by FHI 360 and funded by the GE Foundation and the Qatar Foundation.
The new symposia will bring together local experts on challenges facing Arab youth with representatives of the public and private sectors, civil society and academia. The experts, who will be selected by FHI 360 in partnership with local organizations, will include young social entrepreneurs, economic or political analysts, academics, gender specialists, business representatives and community leaders.
FHI 360 also will create a website and use social media to reach out to Arab youth and involve them in the symposia. The site will provide a forum for Arab youth to share their experiences with entering the workforce and their ideas for meeting the challenges they face. Links to social media, to involve youth in selecting topics discussed at the symposia, will be included. In addition, the site will share highlights and information from the symposia.