Citi Foundation and Education For Employment (EFE) Expand Regional Partnership to Empower Unemployed Youth in the UAE

Education For Employment (EFE), the leading youth employment organization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), in collaboration with the Citi Foundation and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) have partnered in the UAE to support Emiratization and help unemployed Emirati youth to seize economic opportunities.

Dima Najim, Managing Director of EFE in the UAE, commented that, “Emirati youth are one of the UAE’s most precious resources. They are poised to make a valuable contribution to their nation’s growth – if they have access to the right skills, drive and opportunities. In light of this opportunity, EFE is proud to expand our long-term partnership with the Citi Foundation into the UAE. With Citi Foundation’s support and in collaboration with the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), together we will empower Emirati youth to pursue their first jobs and reach their potential.”

The program in the UAE is part of a regional Citi-EFE partnership in alignment with the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress global approach that prepares youth with career readiness skills and opportunities to thrive in today’s economy. Now entering its fifth year, the Citi-EFE partnership provides training and economic opportunities to unemployed youth in Morocco, Tunisia, and, for the first time, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In 2018 alone, the partnership will impact over 400 youth, nearly doubling the impact achieved in the partnership’s first four years.

“In February 2017, the Citi Foundation announced the expansion of our philanthropic commitment to empowering urban young people with an additional $100 million investment to impact the lives of 500,000 youth in cities around the world by 2020. To support these efforts, the Citi Foundation is excited to continue this partnership with EFE to help young people move closer towards their career goals and sustainable futures,” said Elissar Farah Antonios, Citi Country Officer, UAE.

In 2018, EFE with funding from the Citi Foundation and in partnership with AURAK will provide 30 Emirati youth with employability training linked to job or internship opportunities. The program, which helps unemployed Emirati youth enter the private sector in areas of the Northern Emirates region, provides EFE employer partners with access to work-ready Emirati talents, and thereby and advances Emiratization objectives outlined in Vision 2021 to harness the potential of the UAE’s human capital.

Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President of AURAK, stated that, “Our program with Education For Employment and Citi Foundation is working to empower future generations with the right skills, helping them not only to make their future and sustain a decent life, but going further to support in the development of the region and foster stability. We are very proud to collaborate with these high-impact partners."

The program exemplifies the demand-driven, private-public partnership model that EFE has helped to pioneer in workforce development across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In response to employer skill needs and through interactive exercises, trainees learn crucial professional and job-search skills. To provide a model for real-world professionalism, Citi employees will volunteer in the program to inspire applicants, perform mock interviews, and provide feedback on CVs.

Employers seeking to hire EFE alumni in the UAE or other countries in the EFE Network (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria), or youth seeking to learn more about EFE programs, please contact Maria Alkhawaldeh at or (M) +971 50 116 8358.