Rabat, 6 October 2017 (ECA) – The ECA Office for North Africa concluded its 32nd Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) on “Youth employment and sustainable development” with several recommendations aimed at the Economic Commission for Africa, North African countries and Development partners.
Given the magnitude of the challenges North African youths are faced with when looking for employment, participants agreed that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at the global level, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at the regional level, provide converging strategic frameworks that can help address these issues, while taking into account the characteristics of each country.
Participants also called for the setting up of a mechanism to coordinate actions taken to promote youth employment and maximize the impact of initiatives and programmes carried out by development partners, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank, the African Union and the International Labour Organisation.
Another key idea was that tools should be set up, in partnership with the ILO and the AFDB, to facilitate the sharing and dissemination of best practice aimed at promoting youth employment creation in North Africa.
“All North African countries are faced with youth unemployment issues. We are convinced that inter-state cooperation under the auspices of the Arab Maghreb Union and other Regional economic communities, and the sharing of best practice will enable us to strengthen existing mechanisms so as to create new opportunities and identify innovative solutions to this challenge”, said Lilia Hachem Naas, Director of the ECA office in North. All stakeholders should be involved in this process, including the youth themselves," she added.
The meeting’s recommendations for North Africa will be submitted at the regional level to the Joint Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development scheduled in 2018.
Over 150 high-level officials, representatives from international organizations and private sector, experts and academics from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia took part in the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on 3-6 October. The meeting took place with the participation of high-level international and Moroccan officials, including the Arab Maghreb Union Secretary-General Taïeb Baccouche, the Moroccan Minister of Employment and Professional Integration, Mohamed Yatim and the ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe. Representatives from several international, UN and private sector organizations also took part in this event.
The ECA Office in North Africa will organize several events in the coming months. They will include the North Africa Development Forum & International Colloquium of Rabat on 21-25 November, and the Sub Regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) meeting for North Africa in December. The SRCM meet will be an opportunity to assess the UN support to the Arab Maghreb Union.
Note to Editors
The Economic Commission for Africa (www.uneca.org) is one of five regional commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its Office in North Africa is responsible for supporting the development of the seven countries of the subregion (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia and Sudan) by helping them to formulate and implement policies and programs to contribute to their economic and social transformation.
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