US Higher Education Delegation Travels to North Africa

– Partners for a New Beginning – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity

ALGIERS, Algeria, Jan. 28, 2014 / PRNewswire — A delegation of community college leaders will travel to North Africa to meet with representatives of higher education institutions next week to share best practices in vocational training and workforce development and explore new education partnerships between the US and North Africa.

The vocational training and community colleges delegation will include representatives from College of Lake County, Walla Walla Community College, Bellevue College, the American Association of Community Colleges, Macomb Community College, the League for Innovation in the Community College; Global Corporate College, and will be led by the Aspen Institute.

The delegation will meet with local vocational training institutes, NGOs, private sector companies and government officials in order to discuss how to strengthen practices and models for workforce development in North Africa. Such partnerships are key to addressing high unemployment levels in the region, which has been a key focus of US and local government, business leaders and civil society particularly in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

The delegation is a part of Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a public-private partnership supporting the advancement of entrepreneurship, education and innovation in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Pakistan and Indonesia. The delegation is led by PNB’s regional initiative, North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO) and the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, and is sponsored by the US Department of State.

Given PNB’s mission to alleviate the problem of youth unemployment in the region, this delegation will help support partners in North Africa in building new models for vocational training across key economic sectors, including energy, technology, and agriculture. Through a series of roundtable discussions and workshops, US community college leaders will share best practices in youth workforce development and college innovation and explore potential partnerships in the Maghreb.

“The need for a college education is greater today than ever before, whether someone lives in Orlando, Florida or Rabat, Morocco,” said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program who will be joining the delegation. “The Aspen Institute is excited about the opportunity to share with Northern African leaders what we have learned about what the best colleges in the US do to expand economic opportunity and explore potential opportunities for future international collaboration.”

Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and Vice-Chair of PNB said, “Partners for a New Beginning focuses on supporting the local priorities of each country we work in. Higher Education is key priority in the Maghreb. Through PNB and this delegation, we hope to develop effective partnerships that will leverage and support the great work being done by our local partners, as well as foster long lasting relationships between American and Maghreb universities.”

The delegation comes on the heels of PNB Summit held in Istanbul this past November and will be followed by a roundtable discussion at the Aspen Institute’s headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss the delegation’s top recommendations for advancing higher education in North Africa.

Background of PNB-NAPEO:
The North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO) is a public-private partnership of US and North Africa business leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, and governments with a mission to foster job creation, entrepreneurship, and education with a focus on youth.

PNB-NAPEO has created a network of stakeholders which is locally-owned and locally-driven. Chapters have been established in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, and one is currently being formed in Libya.

The network created by PNB-NAPEO is a vehicle for stakeholders in the United States and North Africa to identify, initiate and sustain projects at the Maghreb regional level to foster investment opportunities, entrepreneurship, and job creation, especially for youth. Over the next five years PNB-NAPEO is committed to positively impacting 100,000 people.

NAPEO is a regional manifestation of Partners for a New Beginning (PNB): a network working in ten countries where local projects and priorities are identified by local chapters. PNB strategically matches them with US and international partners.

PNB was initiated by Sec. Hillary Rodham Clinton in April 2010 to develop collaborative networks that foster economic growth in emerging markets. It was publicly launched by PNB Co-Chairs Madeleine K. Albright, Muhtar Kent of the Coca-Cola Company and Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute in September 2011.

For more information regarding PNB and PNB-NAPEO visit http://partnersforanewbeginning.org

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