technological changes and the speed of social transformation in the Middle East and North Africa region are confronted with the limits of the existing education system to deal with the needs of youth and adults. Can lifelong learning provision respond to social developments and match demands for a skilled and competent workforce in the labour market?
Against this background, and with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UIL and the UNESCO Category II Regional Centre for Education Planning (RCEP) co-organised a Preparatory Seminar from 17 to 19 January at RCEP in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, on Developing Capacity for Establishing Lifelong Learning Systems in Selected MENA Countries, with participants from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. 
Key outcomes of the Seminar were proposals on thematic policy and strategy for establishing lifelong learning systems, and on the content of a capacity-building workshop to be held in the region in late 2012.
Prepartory Seminar on Developing Capacity for Establishing Lifelong Learning Systems, 17 to 19 January 2012.
General Objective

To clarify the concept of Lifelong Learning and establishing Lifelong Learning System in selected countries from Middle East and North Africa in-order to call for building capacity workshop later.
Welcome and introduction of participants, Presentation of Agenda.
Working Session 1
Conceptual clarification and background information
Working Session 2
Key issues in planning capacity building programmes for policy-makers and researchers as well as lessons learned
Day 2.
Working Session 3

Analysis of socio-economic, political and cultural demands for a national lifelong learning policy in the participating countries
Working Session 4
Identification of key building blocks/ thematic areas of policy and strategy for establishing lifelong learning systems in the participating countries
Working Session 5
Proposals on concrete contents and methodologies of the Capacity Building Workshop and possible resource persons
Day 3.

Working Session 6
Mapping existing institutional capacities and human resources for developing national lifelong learning policies
Working Session 7
Proposals on priority organisations as well as policy-makers and experts for participation in the Capacity Building Workshop  
Working Session 8
Way forward
• Co-financing mechanism for the Capacity Building Workshop
• Time table for the preparation and organisation of the Capacity Building Workshop 
Remarks of organisers and participants; assessment of the Preparatory Seminar.
Target Group: Policy-makers or leading experts and researchers from the six selected countries. (Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emirates States.)