Corporations must play a key role in arming Egyptian youth with the skills they need to thrive in today's job market, the Secretary-General of the Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation tells attendees at a symposium with former US President Bill Clinton
Corporations have a key role to play in ensuring that Egyptian youth have the skills they need to both thrive in today’s job market and to help build a fairer, more competitive economy, the secretary-general of a leading educational foundation told participants at a symposium with former US President Bill Clinton today.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” said Ambassador Hussein El-Khazindar, retired Egyptian Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of the Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation. “That simple proposition underpins the mission of our Foundation and of other educational centers and foundations Citadel Capital has endowed.”
The Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation has, since its founding in 2007, granted full scholarships that have allowed more than 70 talented Egyptian men and women to pursue master’s and PhDs at top global institutions. The only condition on the scholarship is that each recipient return to Egypt to work in their chosen field for at least two years following the completion of their studies.
“To become not just more productive members of our society, but more competitive global citizens, Egyptians need not handouts, but skills. This process begins at home at birth, but it is a process that must span from kindergarten to each person’s final level of educational attainment. Whatever educational or career path they take, Egyptian youth need specialized skills that will make them more competitive workers, entrepreneurs and community leaders,” said Ambassador El-Khazindar.
Government bears responsibility for driving the transformation, Ambassador El-Khazindar noted, adding, “It is nonetheless equally incumbent upon companies of all sizes to do their parts. Large corporate citizens, in particular, must view a commitment to the education of the communities in which they do business as a special trust.”
Created in 2007 with an endowment of EGP 50 million, the Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation is helping shape the next generation of great scientists, human rights lawyers, business leaders, engineers, architects, film-makers, physicians, archaeologists and more. In the 2010 round alone, the Foundation receive more than 320 applications.
Beyond its commitment to the Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation, Citadel Capital endowed the Citadel Capital Financial Service Center at the American University in Cairo in 2006 and continues to provide annual operating subsidies. The first institution of its kind, the Citadel Capital Financial Services Center has helped train more than 800 students and has benefitted some 120 members of faculty and staff.
Noting that “for every one person whose path in life takes him or her to a great post-secondary degree, there are tens of thousands of no less vital leaders — leaders of their families, their workplaces and their local communities — on whom we are depending to build a better tomorrow,” Ambassador El-Khazindar also pointed to the recent establishment of another Citadel Capital initiative, the Citadel Capital Schools Foundation.
Still in the planning phase, the Schools Foundation will work with smaller, predominantly rural and disadvantaged urban schools that follow the Egyptian national curriculum. In addition to supporting construction and refurbishment of school infrastructure, the Citadel Capital Schools Foundation will offer vital training and curriculum assistance to teachers and staff alike.
“Education is not the sole answer to the challenges our nation faces, but it is clearly the base on which a fair, equitable, globally competitive economy is built,” concluded Ambassador El-Khazindar. “Whether in the corporate world or in the institutions of government and of civil society, we must all ask ourselves what we can do to help our youth build better tomorrows for themselves, their families and our great nation.”
Ambassador El-Khazindar spoke at a symposium titled “Down the Road of Goodwill: What does it take to make a difference?” sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and the United Nations Development Programme Egypt in partnership with the Egyptian Junior Business Association.
President Clinton delivered the keynote address, titled “Embracing our Common Humanity,” at the gathering.
The Citadel Capital Scholarship Foundation helps bright Egyptian students pursue graduate degrees at elite international institutions on the condition they return to Egypt to work following graduation. The Foundation was established in 2007 by Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa. For more information, see www.citadelscholarships.org.
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity in the Middle East and Africa. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional platforms in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 countries spanning 15 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has generated more than US$ 2.5 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders (on investments of US$ 650 million), more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2005-2010, as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
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