Tuesday September 17






Key note address by: H.E. Mr. Ali Larayedh, Head of the Tunisian Government















 Inaugural Session

  • Bernardino León, European Union Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region
  • Naoufel Jammeli, Minister of Vocational Training and Employment, Tunisia
  • Abdelouahed Souhail, Minister of Employment and Professional Training, Morocco
  • Ibrahim Seif, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan
  • Ridha Saidi, Minister in charge of Economic and Social affairs, Tunisia
  • Ahmad Abdul-Salam Hassan Majdalani, Minister of Labour, Palestine
  • Habib Ben Yahia, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union
  • Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom (video message)
  • Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean



Coffee Break




Session 1- The Employment Challenge: How to adapt national strategies to better improve youth employability and skills?

In the first months that followed "jasmine revolution" the Tunisian authorities have implemented a comprehensive strategy Tunisia 2020 which provided a series of measures designed to accelerate job creation. The strategy΄s short term measures initiated by the government have contributed in stabilizing the post-revolution socio-economic conditions in the country. However, challenges remain particularly in regard to improving youth employability and job creation. Furthermore, unemployment still represents one of the most daunting challenges not only to Arab Mediterranean countries but also to some European countries. This session will focus on the efforts deployed in Tunisia and the region toward he setting up and implementation of new employment strategies.


Moderator: Yousef Qaryouti, Director, sub-regional office for North Africa, International Labour Organisation


  • Ridha Saidi, Minister in charge of Economic and Social affairs, Tunisia
  • Rasha Albadareen, Head of Employment Section, Ministry of Labour, Jordan (download the presentation)
  • Nasser Faqih, Islamic Development Bank (download the presentation)
  • Tarak Cherif, President, Confederation of Citizen Enterprises of Tunisia (download the presentation)
  • Claudio Cortese, Senior Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean
  • Eman Zakarya Eid Abdeldayem, Head of central department for employment and labour market, Ministry of Manpower & Migration, Egypt (download the presentation)
  • Alessandro Goglio, Counsellor at the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD (download the presentation)


Questions & answers











Presentation of the results of the EU Neighbourhood Barometer Employment in Tunisia Survey





Session 2- Local development as a key channel for change: How national strategies could be translated into local actions?


While the content of local development efforts varies, from the promotion of entrepreneurship to the battle against exclusion in distressed areas, they share a characteristic working method. They mobilize local people and agencies in the design and implementation of initiatives that are more tailored to local needs. Although local development and job creation are not as old as many other areas of government intervention, there is nevertheless a large stock of knowledge that can already be drawn on from across the region, and from the EU. And now there is undeniably a strong demand on the ground for an exchange of knowledge on best practices and on the lessons from these experiences, both to help with promoting new projects on the employment and social dimension in the priority areas and to increase the scale and effectiveness of existing ones.


Moderator: Yosr Tazi 

  • Mats Karlsson, Director, Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration
  • Mohamed Lamine Dhaoui, Director, Business Investments and Technology services Branch, UNIDO (download the presentation)
  •  Peter Bossman, Co-president, ARLEM's commission for economic, social and territorial affairs, Member of the Committee of the Regions
  •  Philippe Trape, Principal Country Economist, North Africa Regional Department, African Development Bank (download the presentation)
  •  Jean-Louis Reiffers, President, Ecole de la Deuxième Chanc


Keynote Remarks:




Questions & answers




Coffee Break



Session 3- Improving job intermediation: How to reduce frictional unemployment?


Job intermediation is a key element to improve employability of job seekers in the region.

Effective job intermediation is needed to reduce transaction costs of already qualified job seekers and recruiters. In other words, information asymmetries could result in the nonrecruitment of skilled workers. In addition there is evidence that new approaches that take advantage of information technologies accomplish much in smoothing out the recruitment process. The session will review some of the existing intermediation mechanism and present innovative concept introduced with the aim to improve jobs intermediation.


Moderator: Yosr Tazi

Questions & answers






Wednesday September 18



Session 4- How could SMEs development and private sector investments create local and regional champions?

SMEs tend to face a multiplicity of constraints that hinder the performance of its developmental role. In addition to the well-known financial constraints, SMEs face a myriad of obstacles ranging from obtaining the required inputs, producing a competitive product, and marketing, to inadequate institutional and regulatory environment. On the other hand, the creation of an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and SMEs can be enhanced by developing sustainable infrastructures of business advisory services to strengthen their capacity for innovation, competitiveness, and ability to attract external investments. What are the lessons that can be drawn from business incubators and start-up coaching experiences to enhance the business environment for both small-and medium-sized companies, to tap the full potential of private businesses as a source of jobs and economic growth?


Moderator: Yosr Tazi

 Questions & answers




Coffee Break


11:15-12:30 Session 5 - Success stories: Changing mind-sets


Moderator: Yosr Tazi


Questions & answers



Signature of:


1 - Financing Agreement between Injaz Al Arab and Shekra Crowd Fund
2 - MOU between UTICA and the UfM Secretariat




Closing of the Conference


  • Mehdi Jomaa, Minister of Industry, Tunisia
  • Hichem Elloum, First Vice-President, Union Tunisienne de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de l'Artisanat
  • Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranen


Download Programme

Co-funded by the European Union