Citi Foundation and Education For Employment Expand Partnership in Fifth Year Supporting Youth Employment in North Africa and the Middle East


Focusing on Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Morocco. 

Education For Employment (EFE), the leading youth employment organization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Citi Foundation have expanded their partnership for a fifth year to create job and economic opportunities for unemployed youth in the MENA region, including in two new markets.  The partnership reflects Citi and EFE’s shared belief that with the right skills and economic opportunities, young people can transform their lives, and uplift their families and contribute to their communities.

The EFE-Citi Foundation partnership is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress approach designed to prepare urban youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities to thrive in today’s economy. This year, a total of 370 youth will be trained on a digital work readiness curriculum, including 150 youth from Morocco and Tunisia respectively, as well as 40 youth from Saudi Arabia and 30 youth from the UAE, marking the first time EFE and Citi partner to train youth in the Gulf states.  Over 260 of the trainees will access additional in-classroom training in employability, soft skills and technical skills.  Over 75% of these youth will be linked to full-time job and internship opportunities – a unique element of EFE’s model.

 Andrew Baird, President & CEO of EFE, commented that, “Today, over 58,000 EFE alumni have entered the world of work, experiencing the pride and hope of employment, while helping their families, businesses and communities to thrive.  Our partnership with the Citi Foundation, now in its fifth year, has catalyzed our impact, both through directly enabling us to train youth and link them to jobs, and through helping us to build the systems and organizational infrastructure that we need to bring our work to scale.”

 Karim Seifeddine, Public Affairs and Government Relations Head, Middle East and Africa, Citi, remarked that "young people continue to face high rates of unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa and Citi Foundation announced in February 2017 the global expansion of its Pathways to Progress initiative with an additional $100 million commitment over the next three years. This is Citi’s largest philanthropic commitment ever to impact the lives of 500,000 youth globally and to help the next generation become the most employable ever.  We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with EFE for the fifth year to achieve our goals and support programs that help young people build financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.” 

The expanded partnership builds on a track record of successful EFE – Citi Foundation collaboration beginning in 2013.  Since then, the Citi Foundation has enabled EFE to train hundreds of Moroccan and Tunisian youth in demand-driven skills such as sales, healthcare, and professionalism in the workplace.  Funding from the Citi Foundation paired with other supporters such as Accenture Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation helped over 440 youth in Morocco and Tunisia to secure jobs at companies ranging from major multinationals to local SMEs.

Beyond providing direct program support, the Citi Foundation has played a unique and crucial role in enhancing the efficacy of the EFE Network.  The Citi Foundation enabled EFE to develop systems for building and maintaining relationships with employers and partners, and has helped EFE-UAE to become a regional hub for securing opportunities for our graduates across the MENA region.  Citi Foundation’s support has contributed to the EFE Network’s success in reaching the key milestone of directly placing 13,700 youth in jobs, and preparing over 44,000 more to become micro-entrepreneurs or successful job seekers.