Promoting employment, trade and investment in the Mediterranean region

Project description

Title: UfM Hub for Jobs, Trade and Investment
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Montenegro, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Turkey
Lead executing agency: Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
Overall term: 2022 to 2025

Context

High unemployment is a challenge to the economic and social development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Youth and women are particularly affected: 20 per cent of women have no work, 34 per cent of young people between 15 and 24 years old are not in education, employment or training. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these problems.

Related are the very low foreign direct investment (FDI) in North Africa and insufficient regional trade flows. Only about 3 per cent of all trade flows in the Mediterranean region occur between the Southern Mediterranean countries. Low intra-African trade and poor infrastructure hinder the further integration of MENA countries into regional and global value chains. Trading across borders in the MENA region is also very expensive and takes too long.

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) brings together 42 countries from the Mediterranean and is crucial to advancing regional exchange and cooperation. It has unique potential as a dialogue and knowledge-sharing platform for policymakers, business leaders and civil society.

Objective

Regional cooperation in employment, trade and investment is being improved within the framework of the UfM.

Approach

Building on previous support by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the UfM Hub for Jobs, Trade and Investment strengthens regional integration by reinforcing the UfM´s capacity as a multi-stakeholder platform. The project focuses on the UfM Member States in North Africa and the Middle East, while the EU and Balkan Member States are included in peer-learning activities and the exchange of best practices.

The project’s work aims at the development of UfM regional exchange, learning and cooperation formats in the areas of employment, trade and investment. A majority of the project’s innovative support measures was designed in cooperation with non-governmental stakeholders such as civil society organisations, private sector stakeholders and academia. This includes measures specifically dedicated to gender (especially women employment and women in trade), digital solutions and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

At the same time, the project aims to improve the capacities of the UfM Secretariat and its staff through training courses, study tours, practice-oriented learning as well as technical and organisational advisory services.

Last update: April 2022