Africa has achieved impressive economic growth in the past 15 years; from 2001 to 2010, six of the world's ten fastest growing economies were in Africa. Although growth has been moderate in recent years, it is expected to regain strength.
Despite reforms, labour markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been unable to absorb the growing number of job seekers. Women and educated youth are particularly vulnerable to high unemployment. However, data on entrepreneurship and the private enterprise sector in the region have been virtually non-existent.
KariaNet is a regional network improving knowledge-sharing on agriculture and rural development, to help the rural poor in the Middle East overcome poverty. KariaNet drew practitioners and farmers together in 10 countries in the region, equipping participants with new techniques to improve agricultural practices. Over the past two years, KariaNet tested three different methods: learning routes, learning alliances, and innovation contests.