MENA-OECD Government-Business Summit

Mar 31st | 11:10 am - 12:20 pm

An eco-system for youth economic empowerment



Youth represents an untapped potential for social and economic development in the MENA region, with the possibility to play an active role in mitigating the crisis and preparing for recovery. However, young people in the region face many challenges notably regarding their employment opportunities. Prior to the crisis youth unemployment rates in the MENA region were among the highest in the world, with many working in the informal sector and/or under temporary contract modalities. Lack of decent job opportunities coupled with a mismatch between labour market requirements and skills is a particular challenge for both young men and women, although women face particular challenges. Indeed, young women’s unemployment rate is almost double the rate of young men. Progress in educational levels and skills have not yet translated into more labour market opportunities, in a context in which social values and legal frameworks are still detrimental to the opportunities of young women opportunities. Moreover, youth express low levels of trust in their government and have largely disengaged from formal political participation. This session will discuss policy strategies to bolster the role of youth as a catalyst for an inclusive and sustainable recovery in the MENA region. The discussion will consider how to enhance youth employability and skills, as well as to engage young men and women as full partners in the economic recovery.

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