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Children & Youth

My chat with the MENA youth

Yasser El-Gammal's picture
                    

On Monday, September 17th, I had an online chat with a number of youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on the topic of jobs and employment. I received hundreds of comments and questions before the chat, interacted with tens during an hour and a half and kept receiving comments and questions for two days after the chat. The process had a deep impact on me. It was refreshing, amazing, encouraging but also concerning.

Why jobless? The growth pattern

Caroline Freund's picture
       

High unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) largely reflects the growth deficit.  While China has been growing at 10 percent for a decade and has unemployment below 5 percent. MENA is the mirror image, growing at 5 percent and suffering unemployment above 10 percent. The absence of strong growth in MENA has been a serious constraint to employment. It's worth noting though that MENA’s employment situation is not accurately described by the jobless growth that has plagued much of the industrial world in recent years.

A roadmap for youth inclusion

Gloria La Cava's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelAfter 2 years of continuous work, 10 missions to Rabat, 6 steering committee meetings, 1050 emails, the Arab Spring, and the historic changes with a new Moroccan Constitution and Government; we finally arrived at D-Day: the official launch of our "Promoting Opportunities and Youth Participation" report on May 14, at the Hay Nahda Conference Center, Rabat. This invaluable validation is the outcome of an extensive process and the report, much awaited by all youth stakeholders, is finally seeing light. 

Building universities of the future for the youth of today

Will Stebbins's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelUniversities are like gardens, where knowledge blooms like flowers. So says Dr. Hatem Elaydi, whose many years of teaching have not dulled his fascination with the growth and transformation he witnesses and participates in daily. The rewards are never ending. “You see your students winning prizes, finishing their graduate studies, or landing a good job, “ he says, “and wherever you go, you are always stopped by either current or former students, their parents or relatives, thanking you for your help.”

Tunisians lighting the path towards a new social contract

Lida Bteddini's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelIt was an immense spark of light – a flame – that engulfed desperation and oppression in Sidi Bouzid.   Making its way through the alleyways of Sousse, through the olive trees and along the ports of Sfax, and traversing through the streets of Meknassy, the light took hold of Tunisian cities in the same hot-blooded and fiery spirit as the Arabian horses that have roamed its land for centuries before. The light continued on its way along the coast of Monastir, and illuminated the alleyways of Sbikhi, and Chebba, until it cast its radiance on the heart of Tunis. 

Am I the native under your magnifier? I need a JOB, not a dissection!

Amina Semlali's picture

“I am sorry, I am so very sorry, I did not mean to be disrespectful,” the young man says as soon as he has blurted his story out. He fidgets nervously with his little notepad. He is young, but the deep lines that crease his face reveal the hard life he has led.  This is his story: “Do you know what it is like to wake up feeling ashamed every morning, feeling deeply ashamed that I cannot help support my aging parents,” he says, “that I cannot go and buy a bit of fruit for my little sister since I do not have a single coin in my pocket?  I went to school, I did well, I went to university, I did even better but what was it good for? Nothing! Here I am, I cannot afford to get married. I cannot even look my mother in the eyes as I spend the nights in the street drowning my sorrows.” The young man lifts his head, his eyes welling up with tears.  “I have been stripped of my manhood, or maybe I should say, I was never even allowed to become a man.”

Youth and jobs: Partnerships for skills development

Kevin Hempel's picture
Over a year has passed since the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia and Egypt. As the January webchat with the region reminded us, current priorities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are all about “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, and then some more jobs.” The Youth@Work: Partnerships for Skills Development conference in Amman was a timely event to discuss issues such as skills mismatches, education quality, and regional solutions towards facilitating the school to work transition. Not surprisingly then, the interest in the event was huge with representatives from national and local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, international donors, and youth. Even Queen Rania of Jordan attended.

Calling young Egyptians: What YOU THINK matters

David Craig's picture
Kim Eun Yeul | 2011When I last wrote, we were launching a round of consultations out of our World Bank office in Cairo to hear from Egyptian voices on how best we support this great country in the historic transition now underway. Thanks to those of you who joined us in the great wide world of the virtual cafe. In our actual offices (and with real tea and coffee) we had meetings with political parties including the Freedom and Justice Party, the Al-Nour Party, Al-Wafd and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

What do Yemeni youth want?

Wael Zakout's picture

During my first visit to Yemen, I met with a group of young people in the capital, Sana'a. The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about how the youth are thinking; what is important to them; and how the World Bank can help them achieve their goals. I was amazed at the level of their understanding of priorities, the immediate and short-term ones. Their enthusiasm was overflowing with an expression of unconditional love to serve and develop Yemen, their country. They expressed their full readiness to contribute to the national dialogue and work to build the new civil state if they were given the opportunity to do so.

Jobs in Middle East & North Africa: Let’s talk about it

Roberta Gatti's picture

On pre-election week, the team and I met with a large set of stakeholders in Tunis to kick off the in-country consultations on the regional Jobs Flagship report that we are preparing for the Middle East and North Africa region. I guess that thousands and thousands of people chanting “bread and dignity” in Tahrir Square makes it easy to motivate why we should be talking about jobs now. In the past few months, we started to analyze all the available data on employment and to put the common threads together to understand where the constraints lie and where the solutions might be to generate more and better jobs in the region.


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