The global initiative (GenU) calls on young innovators to design solutions to improve education, employment and civic engagement. UNDP Photo/Abdel Hamid Ezzat

The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) held the closing ceremony of the Generation Unlimited " GenU-Youth Challenge 2020".  GenU-Youth Challenge was launched back in January by MOYS in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Plan International.

The global initiative (GenU) calls on young innovators to design solutions to improve education, employment and civic engagement.

Today, the 5 winning teams were honored by Minister Dr. Ashraf Sobhi as they have also received 16,000EGP in seed funding to take their ideas to the next level and make a bigger impact for their communities.

Dr Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, asserted that “this initiative aligns with the willingness of the political leadership in Egypt to support youth and to avail all means for them to develop skills such as creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Toward that end, we have to train and empower our youth for them to participate effectively in achieving Egypt’s vision 2030.”

“The Youth Challenge 2020 aims to train youth and support them to implement innovative and creative entrepreneurship projects capitalizing on the Ministry’s effective and longstanding partnerships with different UN agencies and International organizations,” Dr Sobhi added.

Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt said, “this Challenge has come to an end, but it is just the start of a journey for these five teams of incredible young innovators.” Hopkins added that “through initiatives such as GenU Youth Challenge and Meshwary we contribute to equipping the next generation of Egypt’s youth with skills they need to be successful in life, and to empower young women and men to reach their full potential.”

“I would like to extend my gratitude and congratulations to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for its effective leadership and for expanding their different youth programmes. I also congratulate our partners for this significant partnership under the “Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge” global initiative”, added Hopkins.

Randa Aboul-Hosn, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt asserted that “UNDP in Egypt believes in the capabilities of Egyptian youth, as it is crucial for us to provide them with the resources and tools they need within various activities to lead a better future, and to prepare the youth to play a pivotal role in drawing a suitable tomorrow for all through achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals with all its aspirations and hopes.” Aboul-Hosn added “the Youth Challenge 2020 is one of the activities that contributes to youth empowerment by enabling young people to innovate in solving community challenges, enhance their confidence and skills in serving their societies, and promote community entrepreneurship and its comprehensive and constructive impact.”

“Thanks to H.E. Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, and General Ismail El-Far, Director of the Central Administration for Training and Projects, for providing the youth with continuous support and for having a long-term fruitful partnership,” added Aboul-Hosn.

Mudasser Siddiqui, Plan International Egypt Country Director said, “The Youth challenge was an interesting journey full of learning, innovation, teamwork and productive competition among youth, supported by a partnership with strong and unified vision led by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Siddiqui added that “this challenge has emphasized our belief that youth are the driving force of the wheel of change through their energy, passion, and creativity which generated many innovative ideas that will definitely contribute to having in place better solutions for issues in the coming period.”

Siddiqui emphasized that, “in Plan we focus on youth, especially young women, empowerment and leadership, and it was very encouraging to have almost 50% of the members of all the participating teams as young females, and the same applies to the five winning teams. It is very important to see young women playing an active role in the development of their communities’ hand in hand with their peer young men.”

Worthy of note, the most promising ideas from 36 countries participating in the GenU Youth Challenge will be submitted to a global judging process.

UNICEF Egypt is joining forces with National partners as well as the private sector to establish innovation labs across Egypt with the aim of providing all means of support for young people for entrepreneurship, innovation and building of 21st century skills.

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