Mapping South-South Cooperation in the Arab States

Arab States

Scaling up of IFAD’s Rural Youth Employment Interventions in the NENA Region

Thursday, 25 June 2015 00:51 Written by 
  • Location(s): Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Near East and North Africa, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Employment, Youth Empowerment
  • SDG(s): 8. Decent Work and Economic
  • Locations in the Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Near East and North Africa, Oman
  • Types in the Arab States: Solution
  • Themes in the Arab States: Employment, Youth Empowerment
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 8. Decent Work and Economic

The solution seeks to increase youth employment and self-employment by building the capacity of local institutions to provide youth-inclusive financial and non-financial services to rural youth or the enterprises that employ them.

The programme aims to reach more than 15,000 rural young people, of whom more than 3,750 youth through direct employment. This includes training, market and employment-related information, financial services and jobs. The emphasis on learning allows for the replication and sharing of proven good practices and successful experiences among the relevant programme stakeholders. 

The objectives: 

  • To build the capacity of local financial institutions to develop and deliver five youth-inclusive financial instruments in rural Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Yemen.
  • To build the capacity of local institutions to develop and deliver five complementary youth-inclusive non-financial services to support youth employees, entrepreneurs and/or recipients of financial instruments in rural areas.
  • To consolidate and share learning from the programme through practical knowledge products and events that support the scaling up and replication of youth-inclusive financial and non-financial instruments for rural youth. 

The project contributes to IFAD`s learning strategy on South-South Cooperation by piloting the learning process in one region and transferring its lessons to another region. The solution takes advantage of four models that were successfully implemented in the CEN region by IFAD. These include: (i) an equity financing model in Tunisia drawing from IFAD`s experience in Moldova under the Rural Financial Services and Agricultural Development Project (RFSADP); (ii) youth entrepreneurship loans in Yemen and Egypt informed by IFAD`s experience in Moldova; (iii) a village savings and loan association pilot in Egypt drawing from IFAD`s experience with savings and credit associations in Moldova; and (iv) a horticulture value chain project in Upper Egypt informed by IFAD`s experience in Armenia under the Farmer Market Access Programme. 

IFAD's approach in Tunisia promotes the use of mobile technology to assist rural SMEs in providing opportunities for youth and build the market infrastructure through a mobile-phone B2B solution. Particular emphasis will also be placed on the transfer of lessons in income diversification through access to local financial services and business service providers. In Morocco, Al Barid Bank is extending savings and financial literacy services in rural areas throughout Morocco. The same replicable services are provided by Al Amal Bank throughout Yemen. These activities focus on youth entrepreneurship financing informed by IFAD`s experience with start-up lending in Moldova. 

Activities with Plan International in Upper Egypt are envisioned to pilot village savings and loan associations as vehicles for youth financial services. These activities are building on IFAD`s experience with community association lending gained from savings and credit associations in Moldova, in particular. 

The solution is expected to expand and encourage rural youth`s understanding of, access to, and use of financial services. In addition, a potentially replicable model for assisting SMEs in creating new employment opportunities for youth from the CEN region can be applied to the NENA region.

Partners: IFAD, Al Barid Bank (Morocco), Tunisiana and Microcred (Tunisia), Al-Amal Microfinance Bank (Yemen), Plan Egypt (Egypt), Making Cents International (USA) and Silatech Qatar). 

Contact details: 
Abdelkarim Sma 
Country Program Manager 
IFAD/PMD/NEN 
Via Paolo di Dono 44 
00142 Rome, Italy 
Tel. +39 06 5459 2500 
Fax + 39 06 5459 3500 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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