Fact SheetOffice of the Spokesperson
February 29, 2012
While in North Africa, Secretary Clinton met with the local advisory boards for the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) and praised the work being done by these private sector leaders and innovators.
NAPEO is a regional public-private network launched last year in Algeria by the U.S. Department of State jointly with the Aspen Institute to advance the goals of the flagship global partnership initiative, Partners for a New Beginning. NAPEO Local Advisory Boards exist in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, with one currently in formation in Libya. Members of NAPEO in these countries work with American and North African business and civil society leaders within the network to foster entrepreneurship, develop market-relevant skills training, and create opportunities for job matching and cross-border exchanges.
The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), part of the Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, is scheduled to launch in Morocco and Tunisia this spring in partnership with USAID. It will lead entrepreneurship efforts in the Maghreb for the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity. The Department of State regularly engages public sector leaders in the Maghreb through bi-annual NAPEO Economic Ministers meetings to discuss the business-enabling policy environment in the region for entrepreneurship and youth employability.
In Morocco, NAPEO is led by Honorary Chair Mohamed Horani, President, HPS; Chair Omar Chaabi, Executive Vice President, Ynna Holdingi; Vice Chairs Nawal Elaidaoui, Director of External Relations, Procter & Gamble Maghreb; Wafâa Chafi Fathi, Secretary General, BMCE Bank Foundation; and Hakima El Haiti, Secretary General, Eau Globe, along with 17 other civil society, entrepreneur and youth leaders.
In Tunisia, NAPEO is led by Amel Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce; Ziad Ouslati, Founding Partner of the Maghreb-wide private equity firm Tunivest; and Riadh Bouzaouache, Senior Expert, Entrepreneurship Education of the HEC-University of Sousse, along with 8 other civil society, entrepreneur and youth leaders.
In Algeria, NAPEO is led by Chair Hind Benmiloud, CEO of Benmiloud and Associates; Vice-Chairs Abdennour Nouiri, Professor, HEC Algiers and Nacera Haddad, Director, Incosyn; and Secretary General Sofiane Chaib, CEO, IN-tuition, along with 25 civil society, cultural, entrepreneur and youth leaders.
NAPEO in these countries has championed several locally designed and driven programs. Some of the highlights include:
- 2012 NAPEO U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference: NAPEO Morocco in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the Aspen Institute organized the second U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference. This annual partnership meeting of the NAPEO network brought together 450 U.S. and North Africa young entrepreneurs, business leaders, job trainers, and diaspora leaders for three days of training, mentoring, and partnership workshops. The first NAPEO conference took place in Algeria in December 2010 and the next conference will take place in Tunisia in 2013.
- “Maghreb Start-up Initiative (MSI)”: The first-ever Maghreb regional start-up competition linked to diaspora in Silicon Valley, MSI is supported by NAPEO Tunisia, NAPEO Algeria and NAPEO Morocco and led by Education for Employment (EFE) and the Algerian Start-up Initiative, WikiStartup, and Carthage Business Angels in Tunisia, and Fondation du Jeune Entrepreneur (FJD) in Morocco.
- Cross Border “Train the Trainers” Program: NAPEO Algeria, NAPEO Tunisia and NAPEO Morocco supported Education for Employment’s jobs skills training program that took place in Casablanca in January 2012. Trainers from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco have returned home to train young entrepreneurs and jobseekers for the employability skills that are in high demand by private sector employers.
- Maghreb Entrepreneurship Delegation: NAPEO Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia supported the Department of State’s NAPEO Entrepreneurship Delegation to the Maghreb that brought 15 prominent U.S. early stage investors and diaspora entrepreneur delegates to train and mentor 70 Maghreb start-ups. The delegation “business pitch” winner from each country will be incubated at TechTown and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
For more details on these and other NAPEO initiatives, please PNB-NAPEO Announcements at U.S. Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference.
NAPEO aims to positively impact 100,000 youth in the Maghreb in the next five years through entrepreneurship, job skills training, and increased links between the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). The network is a vehicle for members in the United States and North Africa to identify, initiate, and sustain projects in North Africa that foster economic opportunity, especially for youth. It is a regional initiative within Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a global alliance of public-private partnerships led by the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the Aspen Institute, and other prominent American business and civil society leaders committed to deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad.
For press inquiries contact the Secretary’s Global Partnerships Initiative at partnerships.