UNICEF and MoYS inaugurate the first innovation lab to develop entrepreneurial skills of young people

Together with the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) inaugurated the first such innovation lab at the El Waily Youth Center on Sunday.

The inaugural event was held in the presence of HE Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, HE Ambassador Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Egypt, Dr. Valerie Liechti, Head of Office of International Cooperation from the Swiss Embassy, ​​Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt and Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the International Labor Organization.

The Innovation Labs model is a new component of the “Meshwary” program.

With the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Dutch Embassy, ​​UNICEF, in collaboration with the MoYS, will establish innovation hubs in youth centres. Each center will be managed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The model aims to contribute to the socio-economic empowerment of young Egyptians and non-Egyptians by promoting their skills in social, digital and entrepreneurial innovation to support them in their learning journey towards remuneration.

In his address, Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy affirmed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is paying great attention to the field of innovation and entrepreneurship in the current era, especially to bring into places innovation labs within youth centers as part of its role of qualifying young people for the job market and helping them start small, medium and micro-projects and businesses after graduation .

“These innovation hubs will play an important role in promoting social innovation, digital skills and entrepreneurship to support these young people.”

In the same vein, the Minister for Youth said: “We want to have an innovation lab in each youth center to provide support and training to young people so that they come up with suitable ideas for their own start-up projects.

“This lab will support entrepreneurship and encourage young innovators from all Egyptian governorates to discover, refine and nurture their talents while guiding these talents in the right paths that serve national development,” the minister stressed.

At the end of his speech, Sobhi praised the fruitful cooperation and long-term partnership with UNICEF, especially in the “Mashwary” program, which spanned 14 years, during which he was able to reach nearly 400,000 young men and women in 15 governorates. representing Upper Egypt and the Delta.

In addition, Dr. Sobhi pointed out that the “Meshwary” program has been able to provide young people, including persons with disabilities, with continuous opportunities for capacity building and career guidance, through two main components, the first is skills development and the second component is career guidance. .

For his part, Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, said: “We strongly believe that all young people must have access to the right skills that will enable them to be active citizens and agents of change in a changing world. »

Hopkins continued, “Through this model, UNICEF, in collaboration with MoYS and with the support of the Swiss Youth for Future program and the Netherlands Prospects program embassies, will ensure that all young people have access, over time, to innovation laboratories. such as these in which they can work on innovative ideas and improve their skills.

Speaking to Sada Elbalad English, Amani Mohamed, one of the Mashwary program ambassadors and life skills trainer, said, “This ambitious program supports entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems and empowers power to new minds throughout the country”.

“We target young people aged 16 to 24 who live and engage in social service,” she said.

A total of six innovation labs are being established in Egypt with the support of the International Cooperation Office of the Swiss Embassy and the Netherlands Embassy in Egypt to develop innovation skills social, digital and entrepreneurship among young people, including refugees and migrants, according to UNICEF.

The Innovation Labs model is an extension of the “Meshwary” program that promotes youth employability and empowerment.

It is worth mentioning that ‘Meshwary’ has been under the auspices of the Prime Minister since May 2021 and has been led by the Ministry of Youth and Sports since its inception in 2008. It has reached 400,000 young people with life skills and skills of employability as well.

Comments are closed.