The National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations Youth Initiative (NCUSLR-YI) held its first Virtual Youth Summit this past Saturday, February 23rd, 2019. 22 participants living in Libya and the diaspora joined in the conversation over Skype to learn more about NCUSLR-YI and entrepreneurship in Libya.
NCUSLR launched its Youth Initiative in an effort to dedicate part of its programming exclusively to youth empowerment and engagement. Libya’s future rests with her youth and, in line with that understanding, NCUSLR-YI plans to convene youth-led activities and highlight Libyan youth’s accomplishments. Learn more about NCUSLR-YI’s mission and objectives on our new webpage dedicated to the initiative at ncuslr.org.
The Virtual Youth Summit was designed to explain the goals of NCUSLR-YI and to recruit motivated young people to become regular participants in activities and projects that invest in a better future for Libya. NCUSLR-YI would like to be an inclusive space that encourages students and young professionals of different backgrounds and specialties to develop and grow. At the Youth Summit, our participants joined us from Tripoli, Benghazi, Bani Walid, Misrata, Sirte, Derna, and Sebha in Libya, as well as from Virginia, Massachusetts, and Colorado stateside. It was great to hear the backstory and comments of each participant as we ran through introductions.
Saturday’s group was composed of youth interested in working with NCUSLR-YI who would like to contribute to our projects that focus on entrepreneurship and business. In the long-term, we intend to establish youth networks that focus on different areas including women’s empowerment, business, civil society, and the arts. As such, this meeting was the launching point for NCUSLR-YI’s business and entrepreneurship network. We invited Panel Speakers Tarek Algryani and Mabrukah Abdullah, who have a background in youth entrepreneurship and business development in Libya, to discuss their insights and experiences with our participants. Tarek is the Director of the Benghazi Business Incubator and Mabrukah Abdullah is the Founder of Do Development and Training in Sebha, Libya. Both speakers gave useful overviews of the necessary skills entrepreneurs in Libya must develop and the obstacles they will likely face in this field. The participants asked thoughtful questions to our panelist speakers and shared their own experiences working on entrepreneurial projects in different areas of Libya and in the US.
In order to capitalize on the momentum from this inaugural meeting, NCUSLR-YI will hold a follow up meeting on March 16th with our business and entrepreneurship network participants. We encourage all interested youth to join NCUSLR-YI by registering their interest on our site. We are also collecting information about our present Youth Initiative members so we can shine a spotlight on their projects!
Keep up with NCUSLR and our Youth Initiative at ncuslr.org, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.