Queen Rania Attends the Launch of Education for Employment (E4E) Initiative Report

April 13, 2011

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Honorary Chair of the E4E initiative, took part in the international launch ceremony of the Education for Employment (E4E) Initiative: Youth in the Arab World Report. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Islamic Development Bank released the report today calling for urgent action to tackle the unemployment challenges faced by Arab youth.

In Her remarks, Her Majesty stressed the importance of joint efforts to tackle and better prepare Arab youth for employment eligibility. “E4E calls for collective action, joint responsibility, and shared progress” said the Queen. Adding that “Governments must create an enabling environment for the private sector. The private sector must bridge gaps between schools and job markets. Schools must increase the quality of education they provide. Civil society institutions must expand training opportunities”.

The report, Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Potential, provides a roadmap and a way forward. It shows that the private sector can be a powerful force for positive change by complementing public efforts to ensure that the region’s youth gain the right training and skills for the jobs being created. The solution requires a comprehensive remedy and the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders: governments, employers, education providers, civil society, and students.

The report outlines the views of multiple stakeholders toward education for employment, or E4E. It identifies investment opportunities for the private sector and practical, effective e4e models. The need for e4e is vast—25 percent of youth in the region are unemployed, costing the region about $50 billion each year. The region also needs better education standards, more access to finance for students, and stronger “matchmaking” between students and potential employers.

“IFC and the Islamic Development Bank are calling on all stakeholders to act decisively in designing appropriate e4e solutions," said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. "By implementing a robust e4e initiative, the energy of the region’s young people and the dynamism of its private sector can be brought together to build a brighter social and economic future for all.”

Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group and Abdelaziz Hinai, Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank also made remarks during the event, which also focused on the importance of E4E.

The launch event in Amman was video linked with three other cities; Washington DC, Cairo, and Rabat. Following the launch ceremony, panelists from all four cities participated in a video conference to discuss the private sector solutions to the E4E challenge in the Arab World.