The Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) programme focuses on economic sectors with potential for growth in Somalia, Tunisia and Libya. Furthermore, there is a focus on those areas where youth employment is realistically achievable and necessary. LEAD’s aim is to create sustainable youth employment in growth sectors with special attention to young women and to promote entrepreneurship among young people by integrating entrepreneurship education into secondary and higher education.
The activities are aimed at youngsters between 15 and 35 years, with an emphasis on young people between 15 and 24 years (+ 65%) and women (40%). The objective of this programme is to reduce irregular economic migration and radicalisation of young people to contribute to the stability of the region.
To achieve the programme’s aim SPARK works with an alliance of experienced partners. The alliance is formed with Shaqodoon (Somalia SME support organisation), IACE (the Tunisian SME membership organisation), TAMSS (Tunisian female business organisation), and Enala organisation in Libya.
The program focuses on Tunisia, Libya and Somalia. In 2014, 16.405 Somali and 16.000 Tunisian migrants relocated to Europe. Young people especially consider migrating (60% in Somalia and 44% in Tunisia) because of growing youth unemployment and lack of job prospects. Hundreds of thousands of migrants pass through or are stranded in Libya, a country of transit for migrants, and a safe haven for human traffickers. Besides (youth) unemployment, these countries also suffer from internal radical Islamic conflicts. In Somalia, Al Shabab poses a threat to the country’s security. This restlessness causes many IDP’s to move to the more stable regions of Puntland and Somaliland. This internal migration leads to additional pressure on the labour market in these regions.
Libya is torn by a highly polarized conflict, in which two governments have claimed power. The real power is in the hands of local militias. Islamic groups (including IS) are expanding their influence. Because of the security situation, SPARK chooses to work in the relatively stable environment of Al Bayda.
Tunisia is the largest exporter of Jihadists in the MENA Region: An estimated 5500 Tunisians have gone to Syria/Iraq and training camps in Libya. The country is plagued by attacks by radical Islamic movements. Activities are conducted in Le Kef in the northwest (identified by the Dutch embassy for priority) and in the region of Kairouan, due to the combination of high unemployment and increased presence of (potential) Jihadists.
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