Better job prospects in North Africa

17.06.2016 – Unemployment in Morocco and Tunisia is high. Many young North Africans want to start a new life in Europe – and risk their lives in the Mediterranean to do so. GIZ is working to improve the local job prospects for young people.

Jaouad Ait Rabeh from Morocco’s Ouarzazate Province is 25 years old – and already a seasoned entrepreneur. His company used to sell solar energy systems. With the support of various training programmes organised by the local chambers of commerce, Jaouad has expanded his range of services: he now advises companies selling and installing solar energy systems throughout Morocco and also trains solar energy technicians – so far, a total of 500 in two years. In this way, Jaouad has not only turned former competitors into customers, he has also created five permanent jobs and work for another five trainers. He and his brother have set up a branch office in a neighbouring province. ‘My income has increased fourfold,’ says Jaouad proudly.

Not all Moroccans are doing as well as Jaouad. In particular, inland provinces such as Ouarzazate are cut off from economic growth. Agriculture is the most important sector there but it offers hardly any job and income opportunities. The difficult situation is forcing people to leave the countryside for the towns and cities on Morocco’s northern coast. Some don’t stop there but leave the country altogether, setting off on the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in the hope of finding work in Europe.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to help the provinces to improve job prospects for young people. For example, it is supporting the local chambers of commerce in delivering training courses, like the one Jaouad attended, on topics such as management and setting up a business. It has provided advisory services to ten institutions, as a result of which 100 engineers and technicians have received training on the use of different energy technologies. Local businesses in the renewables and energy efficiency sector that are being supported by GIZ have created 130 new jobs. Over 500 people were trained in biogas production and how to use wastewater treatment technology.

We are also helping young people in Tunisia to develop job prospects. The focus is on making those professions more attractive, in which there is a high chance of finding employment, on adapting the training offered to the needs of business and on promoting business start-ups. Further information can be found here