U.S.-North Africa Partnership For Economic Opportunity: Locally Driven Partnerships That Build Prosperity

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
June 7, 2012


“The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity is building a network of public and private partners and programs to deepen economic integration among the countries in North Africa. These people-to-people contacts have already helped lay the groundwork for cross-border initiatives to create jobs, train youth, and support start-ups.”

-- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a regional public-private partnership led by the U.S. Department of State and the Aspen Institute-driven Partners for a New Beginning (PNB). NAPEO builds locally-owned, mutually beneficial partnerships between leaders, innovators, and organizations from the United States and the Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia) that foster economic opportunity and regional integration.

The President’s and Secretary’s Vision

At Cairo University in 2009, President Barack Obama called for broad partnership between the private sector, government, and civil society to ‘help people pursue a better life.’ NAPEO, launched in 2010 at the inaugural U.S.-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference in Algeria, implements this vision in North Africa and focuses on priorities Secretary Clinton has laid out for U.S. foreign policy in the Maghreb: fostering regional integration, creating jobs for youth through education and skills training, and building people-topeople and business partnerships with the United States.

Public-Private Partnership

The global economic challenges we face cannot be solved by governments alone. Partnership with the private sector stretches scarce public resources, capitalizes on private innovation, and helps ensure long-term sustainability.

Locally Owned, Locally Driven

American and Maghreb business, diaspora, and civil society leaders on the NAPEO International Advisory Board provide strategic leadership working with local NAPEO boards in the Maghreb countries, who determine local priorities and a Maghreb regional agenda. A regional approach lowers costs for organizations looking for partners across the Maghreb.

Focus Areas

  • Entrepreneurship & Access to Finance
  • Education & Skills Training
  • Science & Technology
  • Cross-Border Exchange

Regular Partnership Events

  • Meetings with Senior Officials
  • Annual NAPEO Conference
  • Partnership Delegations and Training Programs
  • Local Board Programs
  • Online Community: http://www.pnb-napeo.org

Policy Advocacy

In a biannual NAPEO policy dialogue, senior U.S. and Maghreb officials discuss policy conducive to economic growth and building opportunity, especially for youth. These business climate issues are critical for U.S. companies (in sectors including renewable energy, agribusiness, infrastructure, IT, the creative industries, and tourism) hoping to access the Maghreb’s 100 million-person emerging market.

Diaspora Engagement

Diaspora communities are often “first-movers” and bring unique expertise, insight, and personal commitment to addressing local challenges in their countries of origin. Diaspora leaders play a key role in NAPEO as International Board members, investors, delegation participants, and mentors.

Measuring Success

We aim to positively impact thousands of young people in the Maghreb through 1,000 new partnerships in the next five years. Successes to-date include:

  • Over forty locally driven partnerships
  • Entrepreneurship Delegation: Prominent entrepreneurs and early-stage investors trained, mentored, and showcased 70 promising Maghreb start-ups
  • Creative Industries Delegation to Algeria: Trained 50 creative entrepreneurs
  • Annual NAPEO Conference: In 2012, convened 450 partners and over 100 trainers, experts and mentors
  • Maghreb Start-Up Initiative: First-ever Maghreb start-up competition linked to diaspora with over $70,000 in cash prizes
  • Online Partnership and Investor Platform: Hosts 70 NAPEO Entrepreneur Success Stories and other Maghreb-specific content

For more information, contact: napeo@state.gov.