On October 7th, EFE Founder and Chair Ron Bruder, EFE-Egypt Board Member Wael Fakharany and EFE partners shaped conversations around youth, entrepreneurship, employment and opportunity at the C3 Summit at the Union League Club in New York City.
At the opening of the event, Ron Bruder shared his thoughts on the promise of the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA)’s youth generation, and introduced Wael Fakharany, Google’s Regional Director of Egypt & North Africa, to deliver the Summit keynote speech. Drawing attention to his own upbringing in Egypt, Wael discussed the aspirations of Arab youth today and the ways in which they will shape the region through their professional endeavors as employees and entrepreneurs.
In the panel Shifting the Needle Together, Ron Bruder moderated a discussion around “Why American and Arab Resources and Knowledge are Creating New Paradigms in Education, Entrepreneurship and Healthcare. The panelists included major leaders from the public and private sectors, including Ahmed El Alfi, Founder & Chairman of Sawari Ventures; Omar Elsahy, General Manager of Souq.com – Egypt, an EFE employer partner; Michael Jacobson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Office of Intel Corporation, an EFE corporate partner; and Nazanin Ash, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary with the US State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, an EFE institutional partner.
To open the session, Ron posited that the MENA region is home to the world’s greatest resource. Counter to the sobering statistics on youth unemployment in the MENA region, he posited that the region’s wealth was not in oil, but rather in its youth bulge. Panelists focused on the changes that need to occur for economic and job growth in the MENA region, and the respective roles that government, international corporations, venture capitalists, and local SME’s play in creating economic opportunity for youth.
The C3 Summit is an exclusive annual event that draws together US and Arab leaders in business, policy, and civil society in an effort to build new relationships and share best practices between the US and the Arab world. It takes its name from its three primary tenets: community, collaboration, and commerce. More information is available at its website.