The circumstances in the MENA region have not always been propitious for young people to contribute to shaping their own futures. Young men and women in the region express lower levels of trust in government than their parents and the majority of young adults have largely disengaged from formal political participation. Moreover, youth in the MENA region are facing higher unemployment levels than young people in any other region in the world.
While around 15% o f young people aged 15-29 in OECD countries are not in education, employment or training (NEET), inactivity levels in the MENA region exceeds those in all regions of the world. In addition, young people whose formal educational background is poor face greater difficulty in accessing channels for civic participation. Where civic engagement channels are more accessible, they rarely address or represent the needs of youth in neglected neighbourhoods and isolated rural communities. As the share of working – age population in the 15-29 age range represent 32%, 27% and 29% in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco respectively, there is an urgent need to develop and implement strategies that focus on fully engaging youth in the economy, society and public life.