Conference On
Arab Youth Employment
Promoting Innovative Solutions to Longstanding Challenges
28 - 30 Apr 2015
Amman, Jordan
Landmark Hotel
About AYE 2015
60+ Unique Speakers
With diverse collection of experiences and perspectives
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Organized by
Silatech is a regional social initiative that works to expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world.
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Hosted by
International Youth Foundation
IYF works around the world in strengthening children and youth, including education, health, and work, as well as providing organization building resources.
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14 Contributing Partners
Venue Website






Contributing Partners

This conference runs through all 3 days from
28 – 30 Apr 2015, Amman – Jordan

The Youth Challenge

In 2011, young people across the Arab region reacted to decades of social, political and economic exclusion by taking to the streets and demanding change. Four years on, there has been little evidence of positive change in their lives.

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About AYE

Organized by Silatech and hosted by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) this Conference aims to bridge the evidence gap on youth employment and create space for partnerships to form, scale up, and replicate successful initiatives.

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Contributing Partners


Day 1
28 Apr 2015
Day 2
29 Apr 2015
Day 3
30 Apr 2015
08:00 – 09:00

Conference Registration


Welcome Remarks – Silatech & IYF

Mohammed AbdulAziz Al Naimi
William S. Reese

Key Plenary Session 1 – Rethinking the Youth Employment Challenge

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment
His Excellency Dr. Nidal Katamine
Dr. Omar Razzaz
His Excellency Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Noura Kamel
10:30 – 11:00



How Can We Apply Global Lessons to Address Youth Employment in the MENA Region?

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment 


This session will present the challenge of evidence-based policymaking in a region where there is currently only a limited body of rigorous evidence. We will discuss how theory of change analysis, combined with international evidence, can help policymakers design better programs to address youth unemployment in the MENA region. Researchers on the panel will identify key challenges to youth employment in the region and discuss how lessons from international evaluations of youth employment interventions may be relevant to the MENA context. A youth-serving practitioner on the panel will share how they incorporate evidence into their programming, and encourage the research community to make evidence more relevant for practitioners.

Dr. Bruno Crépon
Dr. Samer Kherfi
Dr. Raghda El-Ebrashi
Shawn Powers

Innovations in Youth Enterprise Financing

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Enterprise 


There simply aren’t enough jobs for young people looking for work in the Arab world. Public sector jobs are no longer a guarantee for graduates, and lackluster economic growth in many countries in the region means there simply aren’t enough vacancies to absorb the currently unemployed, let alone those entering the labor market each year. New enterprise creation and growth is and will remain fundamental to employment generation in the region. Despite this reality, limited access to finance and business support services is hampering the ability of many youth enterprises to start and grow. This session will explore a range of innovative approaches in the region to financing sustainable, job creating youth businesses.

Magdy Moussa
Bodo Lieberam
Ziad Al Rifai
Mohammad Raafi Hossain
Justin Sykes

Successes, Obstacles and Innovation in Engaging the Private Sector for Youth Skills and Employment: What are the Lessons Going Forward?

Session Type: Round Table
Session Theme: Engagement 


It is well recognized that participation of the private sector, especially employers, play a vital role in ensuring that training and other programs for youth prepare them adequately for productive work. Yet less is known about how this can be done most effectively. This session bring together panelists with deep experience as businesspeople, program directors, and entrepreneurs to address the following questions: What are best practices in the region for engaging the private sector? What are the obstacles for different kinds of firms or sectors to partner for youth employment initiatives, and how can they be overcome? Where are innovative approaches happening that should be replicated or scaled up?

Saro Nakashian
Abdulsalam Haykal
Deema Bibi
Ayman Ismail
Peter Glick
12:30 – 13:30



Scale, Transparency and Resilience: What Technology Can Do for Employment Initiatives

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment 


This session will look at some innovative ways that technology can be used to improve job outcomes at scale. We will discuss how to track job outcomes, improve matching efficiency and increase reach to employers and jobseekers using web and mobile. We will also at making employment initiatives resilient in conflict situations.

Nino Hares
Muhammad Younas
Himanshu Aggarwal
Jo Aggarwal

Making Learning Count: Lessons from M&E in Youth Employment

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment 


Making Learning Count provides a platform for youth-serving organizations in the Middle East and North Africa to share lessons from monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the field of youth employment. The session focuses on a set of unique case studies explaining how youth-serving organizations improve their measurement of results by designing M&E systems that are appropriate to their needs and resources. Making Learning Count is organized by Taqeem, an initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Silatech that seeks to improve labour market outcomes of young people in the MENA region by strengthening evidence-based programming and policymaking.

Linda Sabbarini
Kevin Hempel
Magda Samy
Paul Dyer
Drew Gardiner

Displaced Youth in MENA: Where to from here?

Session Type: Roundtable
Session Theme: Engagement 


The MENA region has one of the highest youth unemployment rates globally. On top of this, millions of youth, who have been displaced from their homes and countries, face a daily struggle for survival without access to employment or livelihoods. The panel “Displaced youth in MENA: Where to from here?” will be looking at the particular challenges faced by displaced youth in MENA, especially refugees and displaced youth affected by the crises in Syria and Iraq, accessing employment and livelihoods. The session brings together representatives from governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations and refugee youth from the region to jointly identify innovative solutions that can be replicated and scaled up.

Mohammad Ammar Dwaidry
Michael Newson
Shady Eneim
Sabine Farah
Shafik AbdulRahman
Dr. Saleh AL-Kilani
Saba AlMobaslat
15:00 – 15:30



Employed: Effective Workforce Development Models for Youth in Hospitality

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment 


This session will highlight three effective employment solutions targeting youth and the hospitality industry that IYF has implemented across the MENA region.

1. Partnering with leading vocational/hospitality training schools and industry associations to provide life and hospitality skills training and job placement to 900 disadvantaged youth in Jordan with Ammoun College.

2. Partnering with Silatech to build the capacity of the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism to train 4,000 youth from 13 vocational hospitality training centers around the country, and to place these youth in hospitality industry jobs.

3. Role of Government policies towards promoting effective employment in hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia.

Mohamed Farouk Hafeez
Michael Nazzal
Abdulkarim H. Alnujaidi
Mariam Tyabji-Guyer
Rana Al Turk

Mentoring: A Key Solution for Youth Unemployment

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Employment 


With a youth unemployment rate of 26%, solutions that provide young people in the Arab region with the skills, confidence and awareness of the jobs market that prepare them to enter the workforce are critical.

Mowgli mentors and Future First Global’s programmes confirm that mentoring from real work and alumni role models is one such solution. Mentorship can support young people to develop entrepreneurial skills; an understanding of the jobs market; support leadership development and provide a route to the workforce.

Jamil Saraj
Haifa Najjar
Samar Dudin
Emily Laurie
Thanaa Al-Khasawneh

Youth Economic Empowerment for Sustainable Human Development in the Arab Region: How to Make it Work?

Session Type: Panel
Session Theme: Engagement 


The session aims at stimulating learning and exchange of views on the challenges, opportunities and solutions in promoting youth economic empowerment as a key pathway for sustainable economic, social and environmental development outcomes in Arab countries. The session will introduce and discuss perspectives from the (forthcoming) Arab Human Development Report on Youth and the response framework set forth in UNDP Global Youth Strategy, highlighting the need for context-specific, multi-sector and multi-partner action. The session will showcase innovative and scalable initiatives linking youth economic empowerment and sustainable human development in various country contexts, including the roll-out of the 3×6 approach for youth empowerment and resilience building in Yemen and Jordan, and support to green jobs and entrepreneurship in Morocco.

Najah Buriqi
Daoud Qorchi
Nathalie Milbach-Bouché
Jad Chaaban

Venue & Location

Landmark Amman Hotel & Conference Center
Al Hussein Bin Ali Street. Amman, Jordan
+962 6 560

Organizer, Host & Partners



Media Partner