Chapter 12: Support for Youth Economic Opportunity in the MENA Region

Young agents of change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raised their voices and took action this past year to demonstrate their demands for greater economic, social, and political opportunity. Headlines around the world have buzzed of priority areas that need reform; and which pertain to members of the public, private, and civil society sectors. For example, some conference participants highlighted how steady economic growth in the Arab world is undermined by the region holding the highest youth unemployment in the world. Youth unemployment costs the Arab world $40 to $50 billion a year.81 At the 2011 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, presenters discussed various approaches that have been taken and will be launched to support improved economic opportunities for young people in MENA.