SESRIC participated in Meeting on 'Addressing Unemployment in the IDB Member Countries in the Post-Crisis World'
09-10 May 2011
Jeddah Saudi Arabia
The IDB Group organised the Meeting on “Addressing Unemployment in the IDB Member Countries in the Post-Crisis World”, which has been held at the IDB Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 9-10 May 2011. The Meeting was attended by experts from relevant institutions and organisations from the IDB Member Countries as well as from international organisations and institutions such as the ILO, IMF, OECD, World Bank and UN ESCWA.
The main objectives of the Meeting were to (i) diagnose the unemployment crisis in member countries in order to gain a better understanding of the problem in the post-crisis world; (ii) identify the nature of the crisis and issues, address the challenges and bridge the gaps at the national and regional levels; and (iii) find solutions to tackle the unemployment crisis in IDB member countries. The Meeting deliberated on and addressed the problem of unemployment in four working sessions under the following themes: (1) Causes and Consequences of Unemployment Crisis, (2) Capability Enhancement, (3) Public-Private Partnership for Generating Employment Opportunities, and (4) Role of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises and Microfinance in Generating Employment Opportunities.
Under the theme “Capability Enhancement”, Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, presented a paper titled “Enhancing Employability in OIC Countries: The Role of Capacity Building and Microfinance”. In response to the unemployment problem in OIC Member Countries, the paper focuses on enhancing employability and employment opportunities through promoting capacity building, particularly through Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes and supporting the role of microfinance institutions in job creation, particularly self-employment. Dr. Alpay highlighted practical approaches that are regarded to be crucial in supporting and enhancing employment opportunities and thus reducing unemployment. He emphasised two key approaches: (1) capability enhancement through developing a compatible VET System; and (2) promoting self-employment and income generation through supporting and facilitating the operations of the microfinance institutions. In this context, he made two proposals: establishing a Microfinance Social Investment Fund (MSIF) and developing an Integrated Waqf-based Islamic Microfinance Model. Dr. Alpay also moderated the Session under the theme “Public-Private Partnership for Generating Employment Opportunities”.
Among other presentations, under the theme “Causes and Consequences of Unemployment”, Dr. Ralph Chami, Chief of Regional Study Division, Middle East and Central Asia Department of the IMF, made a presentation titled “Growth and Labour Market Responsiveness in MENA Region”. Under the theme “Capability Enhancement”, Dr. Zafiris Tzannatos, ILO Senior Regional Advisor for Employment, made a presentation titled “Constraints for Creating Employment in the Arab Region”. Under the theme “Public-Private Partnership for Generating Employment Opportunities”, Mr. Jan Hendeliowitz, Executive Director of the Employment Region Copenhagen and Zealand and the Chairman of the OECD LEED Directing Committee, made a presentation titled “Public-Private Partnership for Creating Employment Opportunities: The Experience of Denmark”. Also, under the theme “Role of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises and Microfinance in Generating Employment Opportunities”, two presentations were made by representatives of international organisations. The first was made by Dr. Zafarullah Siddiqui, Economic Consultant for the World bank and IMF, titled “Enhancing Employment Opportunities: The Role of SMEs and Microfinance”, and the second one was made by Mr. Tariq Alami, Director of Economic Development and Globalisation Division at UN ESCWA.
Based on the general deliberations and discussions during the working sessions, the Meeting prepared and agreed on “General Framework and Recommendations” for addressing unemployment in Member Countries in the post-crisis world. The Framework includes the major challenges and constraints as well as a set of recommendations to overcome the problem of unemployment in Member Countries at both national and regional levels.