Responding to the fast-moving political situation in Egypt, the Brookings Institution, Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM) [a leading  Egyptian youth-led NGO], and the International Youth Foundation (IYF), hosted a one-day forum on the way forward for Egypt and the role of civil society in supporting the country’s development as it enters this critical new phase.

A closed morning roundtable at Brookings, moderated in part by Awais Sufi, IYF Vice President for Work programs, provided an opportunity for leading players actively engaged in Egypt to share their knowledge and help shape approaches that would foster an inclusive political reform and democratization process in that country. More than 50 people attended, including representatives from the State Department, USAID, the World Bank, the private sector, leading international NGOs, and the academic community. Panelists throughout sought to chart a multi-stakeholder strategy that places a strong emphasis on how civil society, the donor community, and other interested parties can work together in support of Egypt’s future.

Later the same day, Mr. Sufi also spoke in a public session on how best to enhance Egypt’s economic and employment development. “We need to find concrete paths forward,” said Mr. Sufi, “and focus on initiatives and efforts that show real impact, do it quickly, and build momentum to show people there is a future.” Describing IYF’s “asset-based” approach to development, he underscored that youth can play a critical role “to address, confront, and resolve societal problems.” This session’s proceedings, attended by some 150 people, were broadcast on C-Span. Other panelists included Hisham Fahmy, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt; Jackie Kameel, Managing Director of NM; Amira Maaty, Program Officer at the National Endowment for Democracy; and Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at Brookings Doha Center.

Building on these discussions and findings, the International Youth Foundation and key supporters will soon be launching a new youth employability program in Egypt to expand opportunities among Egyptian youth in the areas of employability and entrepreneurship. Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM) will serve as the program’s Secretariat. 

Click here for the full event summary as well as the agenda, participant list and the key recommendations presented and discussed during the roundtable.