Youth in the MENA Region

How to Bring Them In

image of Youth in the MENA Region

Young men and women in the MENA region are facing the highest youth unemployment levels in the world and express lower levels of trust in government than their parents. Since young people 15-29 years old exceed 30% of the working-age population in most MENA countries, governments urgently need to develop and implement strategies focused on fully engaging youth in the economy and society. This report is the first of its kind to apply a “youth lens” to public governance arrangements. It provides recommendations for adjusting legal frameworks, institutions and policies to give young people a greater voice in shaping better policy outcomes.

English French


Executive summary

Five years after what has become known as the Arab Spring, young men and women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region still face considerable obstacles in becoming a driving force for social and economic development in their countries. MENA youth are facing higher unemployment levels than young people in any other region in the world. While around 15% of young people aged 15-29 in OECD countries as a whole are not in education, employment or training, inactivity levels for the age cohort 15-24 are as high as 25% for young men in the Palestinian Authority and around 41% for young women in Egypt. As the share of 15-29-year-olds exceeds 30% of the working-age population in most MENA countries, there is an urgent need to create decent opportunities for youth in both public and private sector to play a productive role in all areas of life, in particular by creating the space for youth to raise their voice and shape policies that reflect their realities and aspirations.

English French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error