Economic Inclusion in MENA Region

Around specific investments the project seeks to equip workers with the necessary skills to get employed. It fosters the inclusion agenda in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco by targeting specifically youth, gender and people from disadvantaged regions.

Country/region Period Budget
01.10.2017 - 31.12.2024
CHF  3’437’500

Economic inclusion especially of young labour market entrants has been a critical challenge in the Middle East and North Africa region. Youth unemployment stands at alarming levels in many countries with 42% in Egypt, 31.8% in Tunisia, 28.8% in Jordan, and 20.2% in Morocco. In parallel, these countries experience high levels of youth inactivity with one-third of young people ‘not in employment, education, or training’. Paradoxically, high unemployment rates often coexist with skills mismatches and deficiencies in skills supply that are increasingly recognised as prime bottlenecks for ongoing economic development and growth.


The project aims at supporting the private sector to develop tailored training programmes to improve productivity, reduce staff turnover and attract better talent, which – at the same time – contributes towards expanding access to training and employment opportunities for young people, women, and population from disadvantaged regions. Put differently, the model tries to create win / win situations by establishing solid partnerships between the private sector and education providers to introduce training opportunities and apprenticeships or traineeship programmes that directly address employer’s skills mismatch and productivity challenges.

Medium-term outcomes

Improved access to dual-model training and employment opportunities for the target group

Strengthened and expanded partnerships with national and international stakeholders on addressing skills gap

Enhanced private-sector implementation of economic inclusion activities


Expected results:  

Skills gap assessment conducted for at company, sector, or country levels

Tailored inclusion models recommended to and implemented by companies

Relevant education- or labour-related stakeholders identified and engaged in a given sector

Private sector companies trained in corporate governance, inclusive human resources management (recruitment, retention, reskill)

Policy engagement and local capacity building activities conducted

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’437’500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    5’250’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.10.2017 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)