Published on Arab Voices

We’re Working to Help Egypt’s Young People Create More Jobs

MENA is the world’s 2nd youngest region with 60% of its population under the age of 30. A large youth population should be a valuable driver of economic growth. But the MENA region will need to have 300 million jobs by the year 2050 to absorb its youth into the labor market, according to UN & World Bank data. This is a challenge that the old social contract can no longer sustain, where people rely on the public sector for good jobs and livelihoods.

Forty percent of Egypt’s 104.2 million people are under the age of 18 according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), which means the country needs to create about 42 million jobs in the next 30 years to absorb them. Private sector job creation and entrepreneurship are vital for the country’s future development. The government of Egypt recognizes the importance of immediately creating a business environment that is conducive to entrepreneurship and private sector development.
And this is where the World Bank Group has stepped in to support the government in creating more jobs.

Here are 3 ways we are working on multiple fronts to help Egypt:

We are working for entrepreneurs.
Our ‘’Equal Access and Simplified Environment for Investment in  Egypt’’  (EASE)  project aims to improve business regulations to encourage enterpreneurs to enter the market. The project is supporting the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) in creating and automating seven “Investor   Services centers’’ where enterpreneurs can fullfill all their start-up regulatory requirements in one day and facilitate online registration and payments.

We are making it easier for young people to access to finance.
The 'Promoting Innovation for Inclusive Financial Access project has expanded access to finance for micro-and-small-enterprises in Egypt using innovative financing mechanisms, with a special focus on youth and women as well as under-served regions. To date the project has served 156,185 people, of which 32.5% (50,760 people) are youth. This project has enabled business owners to launch and expand their work to create more jobs.

Sameh Seddik from Upper Egypt is one successful entrepreneur who benefited from this project. After receiving financing to expand his garment business, he now employs an all-female work force of 40 employees.
From 1 Worker to 40: How Micro-Finance is Creating Jobs in Egypt
We are simplifying regulations and incentivizing investments.
The EASE project is also supporting the Industrial Development Authority in ensuring that the licensing process for manufacturers is transparent and efficient and managed to help decrease the number of days required to obtain industrial licenses for low risk businesses from 634  days to just 7 days. The project is also working to support the government of Egypt in simplifying the industrial land allocation process to ensure fairness and transparency through setting up an online industrial land allocation system.

The World Bank Group will continue to work with Egypt to further improve its business environment and enable private sector entry, growth, and empower its women and young entrepreneurs. By working with Egypt as well as the rest of the MENA region, we can make it easy for young people to create their own jobs, and this is a key pillar of the World Bank strategy.

Youth have great potential in contributing to the region’s growth, if they are given the chance. After all, as a recent IMF report noted, if MENA can generate an additional 0.5% of employment growth per year, real GDP growth would accelerate to 5.5% per year, and real per capita income would rise annually by 3.8%!


Lina Abdelghaffar

Communications Specialist

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