Green Jobs and Green Entrepreneurs in the MENA Region: Challenges and Opportunities

June 2023


This policy paper stems from the need to address the already high and growing unemployment rates among young people in the MENA region, as reported by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The region faces challenges in providing decent job opportunities for youth, worsened by the post-COVID pandemic effects and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. The paper emphasises the importance of sustainable economic growth and the promotion of full and productive employment, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8. Shady El Sherif argues that relying solely on macroeconomic development plans focused on GDP growth is insufficient to address the needs of the region’s youth. Microeconomic factors such as developing human capital through education and training, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and implementing policies that promote competition, investment, and innovation are vital for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The paper also stresses the significance of addressing global challenges, including climate change, and proposes the promotion of “green jobs” and entrepreneurship as means to drive sustainability and growth in the region.

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