Youth Empowerment in the MENA Region

Despite their demographic weight, young men and women in the MENA region are at a significant risk of being unemployed, they often express low trust in government and they face significant challenges in their transition to autonomy. In some countries, young people are also heavily affected by violent conflicts and displacement. 

In line with the OECD Recommendation on Creating Better Opportunities for Young People (English/French), the MENA-OECD Governance Programme provides policy analysis and advice, bilateral technical support and a platform for regional dialogue among policy makers to support governments and public administrations in:

  • uniting various governmental and non-governmental stakeholders behind a joint vision and strategy targeting young people;
  • building administrative and institutional capacities to mainstream the perspectives of young people from different backgrounds in policymaking; and
  • encouraging the participation and representation of young people and youth stakeholders in public and political life.

> Discover more about the OECD work on youth empowerment and intergenerational justice.

The Programme also supports young people, youth organisations and youth-led initiatives. Take a look at the outcomes of the Local Youth Ambassadors Programme in Jordan and the Youth Policy Shapers Programme in Tunisia, implemented by the OECD in co-operation with the Ministry of Youth (Jordan) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Tunisia).

Youth at the Centre of Government Action: A Review of the Middle East and North Africa

Young people have demonstrated resilience to shocks and led positive change in their communities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Young people (aged under 30) constitute more than half (55%) of the population across MENA, compared with 36% of the population across OECD countries.

While challenges vary significantly across the region, youth unemployment rates are among the highest in the world, young people tend to express low trust in public institutions, and nearly four in ten live in fragile and conflicted-affected areas. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the need to place the needs of young people at the centre of an inclusive and resilient recovery.

To support this process, this report analyses current governance arrangements and practices across 10 MENA governments.


Read the report

> Read a short brochure with key highlights (English/French/Arabic)

MENA-OECD Youth Empowerment Network

Delivering on the 2021 MENA-OECD Ministerial Declaration, the MENA-OECD Youth Empowerment Network regularly brings together high-level government officials, youth policymakers, young people and other youth stakeholders from MENA governments and OECD countries to promote regional dialogue, discuss cutting-edge research and share good practices.

Check out the previous Regional Youth Conferences:


Country Projects

The Programme supports ministries in charge of youth affairs throughout the MENA region in strengthening governance arrangements for youth-response policy outcomes.

This has resulted in a series of reports, which provide a holistic assessment of the arrangements and practices in place and policy recommendations based on international good practices and lessons learned.

Jordan Morocco Tunisia

> Read the report

> Check out a short presentation of key findings

> Read the report

> Check out a short presentation of key findings

> Read the report

> Check out a short presentation of key findings





OECD DSG Kerri-Ann Jones at Rome MED 2022: Building trust among young people

Media Coverage


  • Rai – Radiotelevisione italiana, A Caserta, focus sui giovani nei Paesi del Mediterraneo, 24 June 2022 (here).
  • Ondaweb TV, Paola Severino a Caserta, la formazione nella PA parte da qui, 23 June 2022 (here).


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