24.01.2019

Opportunities for young people: more jobs, better jobs

Around 38,000 people in North Africa have so far benefited from measures to help them set up their own business or find a job and to create fair working conditions.

Paid employment is in short supply in North Africa. Approaches to creating more, and better, jobs range from support for agricultural start-ups to measures to improve job quality for workers and nationwide employment initiatives. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working with national partners on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). And between 2015 and 2017, around 38,000 people found work as a result of these initiatives.

Some individuals have themselves created jobs, such as Lobna Dams in Tunisia. On behalf of BMZ, GIZ supported her in setting up her organic cosmetics and tea business all the way from the initial business idea to the purchase of equipment for working the fields. Unemployment among young people living in rural areas of Tunisia is more than 45 per cent, so many young people leave for the cities or emigrate to Europe.

Lobna Dams has stayed, though, and now employs four full-time staff and around 20 seasonal workers on her farm. Her company is just one of around 420 agricultural start-ups that GIZ and the Tunisian Government have supported directly or indirectly since 2016.

The employment initiative in Egypt also focuses on jobs for young people. GIZ and its partners are working to boost employment and improve working conditions as part of measures in the area of job placement and fair working conditions. The National Employment Pact, an initiative launched by Egyptian and German companies and the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is currently running four job centres. A total of 6,000 young people found work through the centres between 2015 and 2017. There is also high demand for training courses for supervisors on social skills and modern management practices: some smaller companies are characterised by poor collegiality and high staff turnover. In addition, GIZ supports innovation competitions, in which employees submit ideas for improvements. Through these and other activities, it has enhanced working conditions for around 11,000 Egyptians since 2015.

Read more in our feature project ‘More jobs. Better jobs’ about how GIZ is improving prospects for young people in North Africa – and what it has already achieved.