The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) will host the first CGI Middle East & Africa Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will convene regional and global leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

CGI Middle East & Africa will spotlight regional successes and leverage participants’ influence and expertise to address a range of relevant issues including: education, public health systems, youth employment, infrastructure, and natural resource management. This meeting will provide opportunities for participants to network, build partnerships, and share best practices to generate lasting solutions through the CGI Commitment to Action model.


The CGI Model

Through CGI, today’s foremost thinkers meet tomorrow’s groundbreaking solutions.

Established in 2005 by President Clinton as an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, CGI was founded as a different type of meeting: one where participants don’t just talk about the issues of the day but actually take action. The CGI platform promotes positive outcomes through Commitments to Action—new, specific, and measurable plans for addressing the complex challenges we face today. CGI meetings provide opportunities for participants from across sectors to network, build partnerships, and share best practices to drive their solutions forward.

The CGI Middle East & Africa Meeting will build on the success of past CGI Annual Meetings and regional CGI meetings—including CGI Asia in 2008 and Latin America in 2013—which drive targeted attention and action toward timely and relevant issues.

CGI drives action among its members in the following four ways:

Inspiration: Thought leaders and visionaries—from top CEOs to heads of foundations and NGOs—push the conversation forward, inspiring all members to be creative and innovative in their collective action.

Networking: The diverse CGI experience offers unique opportunities to interact with regional leaders from across sectors and industries.

Knowledge Building: Industry leaders analyze the most effective programs, fresh voices put forth innovative approaches, and established experts debate different interventions.

Cooperation: CGI participants work together to best leverage their resources and expertise, building partnerships organically from networking or through CGI staff facilitation.

Participation in the CGI Middle East & Africa Meeting includes:

  • Innovative and interactive sessions

  • Access to a diverse network of regional leaders from across sectors

  • Commitment development services

  • A personal CGI point of contact


Featured Speakers



Tuesday May 5

19:00 –21:00

Special Event
African Telecom Challenge: Eliminating Intellectual Poverty, Empowering Intellectual Property
Networking Event hosted by Channel IT Group

19:30 –21:00

Special Event
Welcome Cocktails

Wednesday May 6

9:00 –10:30

Opening Plenary Session
Connecting People for Growth

11:00 –12:30

Breakout Sessions
4 Simultaneous

13:00 –14:00

Lunch Plenary Session
Infrastructure Challenges: Cities of the Future

14:30 –16:00

Breakout Sessions
3 Simultaneous

16:30 –17:30

Plenary Session
The Food-Energy-Water Nexus

19:30 –22:30

Special Event
Social Reception & Dinner

Thursday May 7

9:30 –10:30

Plenary Session
Women at the Forefront of Innovation

11:00 –12:30

Breakout Sessions
4 Simultaneous

12:30 –14:00

Networking Event
Networking Lunch

14:00 –15:30

Closing Plenary Session
The Middle East and Africa: Future Leaders for Opportunity

* Schedule is subject to change.


Action Areas

Breakout Sessions will be held multiple times over the course of the meeting, with a select Action Area providing the framework for each 90-minute session:
  • Investing in Youth: Countries in the Middle East and Africa have a unique opportunity to secure sustainable growth by investing in their large, young workforces. By universalizing access to primary education, integrating job-relevant skills into education and training systems, and providing support to young entrepreneurs, both regions can leverage this critical resource for economic growth.

  • The Future of Energy, Food, and Water: In the coming decades, innovations and partnerships that reinforce food security, water conservation, energy access, and renewable energy production will create opportunities for fueling growth and supporting growing populations. Endowed with abundant supplies of wind and sunlight, the countries in the Middle East and Africa are in a position to continue fostering technologies for economic diversification and growth.

  • Building Infrastructure for All: Thirty years of progress is reflected in enhanced productivity, health, and other measures in many countries across the Middle East and Africa. By pursuing effective, sustainable, and carefully selected infrastructure investments—including health, housing, telecommunications, and transportation—business, government, and civil society can further strengthen economies by increasing economic empowerment, integrating vulnerable communities to combat poverty, and improving health outcomes.



A Commitment to Action—the defining feature of CGI—is a plan for addressing a significant challenge area.

Commitments to Action can be small or large, financial or nonmonetary in nature. Many commitments are the result of cross-sector partnerships, with CGI participants combining efforts to expand their impact. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

CGI supports the development of commitments by facilitating dialogue, providing opportunities to identify partners, and communicating results. CGI serves as a catalyst for action, but does not engage in the actual implementation of commitments.

Every commitment must meet three basic criteria:

New: A CGI commitment must present a new idea or approach to a major challenge. While ongoing work is not eligible, an expansion of a successful program does qualify as a valid Commitment to Action. Additionally, participants can become partners on other CGI commitments by, for example, providing in-kind support, technical expertise, or funding.

Specific: A CGI commitment must outline a specific approach to a problem, have clear and feasible objectives to be accomplished within a defined period of time, and articulate the desired outcome of the effort.

Measurable: CGI commitments must have specific quantitative or qualitative goals that can be monitored by the commitment-maker to evaluate progress over time. As each commitment is implemented, annual progress is reported to CGI to demonstrate the extent of its impact.

Commitment Highlights

First Jobs, Then Futures
for MENA Youth

Commitment by: Education for Employment; The MasterCard Foundation; partners

In 2011, Education For Employment (EFE) committed to supporting over 13,000 young women and men in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in building their futures through job-readiness, business, sales, and technical trainings. To date, EFE has directly impacted the lives of 14,815 young people across the region, placing 3,059 graduates of its programs in jobs with local employer partners. Additionally, 1,877 young graduates of EFE’s entrepreneurship training programs have been connected to start-up support, or are now self-employed. Read More »

Linking Conservation and
Primary School Education in Africa

Commitment by: African Wildlife Foundation; partners

In 2013, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) committed to building five Conservation Schools in priority wildlife landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa, providing an immersive educational experience where conservation is a part of the core curriculum. Construction will be completed on a new school for 250 students in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of 2014. Additionally, designs to upgrade an existing school in Tanzania to meet Conservation School standards are being finalized and scoping missions have taken place in Rwanda and Ethiopia. Read More »

Sunny Money

Commitment by: SolarAid

In 2009, SolarAid committed to building Sunny Money, a sustainable and scalable microfranchise network across East Africa that provides low-cost and high-quality solar energy solutions to the rural poor. Through these microfranchises, kerosene lamps are being converted to or replaced with solar lights, revenue from sustainable enterprises is being generated by participating entrepreneurs, and consumers are receiving energy cost savings by switching to solar. To date, SolarAid has become Africa's biggest last mile seller of solar lights through Sunny Money—selling over 310,000 units—providing clean energy solutions to the rural poor in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Senegal. Read More »



For questions, please email [email protected] or call +1 646 778 5155. Full program details to follow. Please note that CGI Middle East & Africa Meeting attendance is by invitation only.