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.
From 2006-2012, 212 organizations participated in research supported by the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program. Despite the lack of African institutions working on climate change issues prior to the CCAA program, some 89% of these organizations are based in Africa, and now represent one of CCAA's key results: a strong base of African expertise to conduct and communicate research on adaptation to climate change. Following CCAA funding, mentoring, and opportunities to work with international experts, these institutions and their researchers are now recognized by communities and governments in Africa and beyond as go-to experts to inform adaptation initiatives, programs, and policies.
Zimbabwe continues to experience high levels of poverty and unemployment. IDRC is supporting the University of Zimbabwe’s Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) as it explores the multiple dimensions of the country’s challenges and generates debates and ideas for reconstruction and development. The project research team conducted a baseline survey on poverty, well-being, and inequality in Zimbabwe, and worked to build the capacity of the IES’s own researchers and their contribution to Zimbabwe’s recovery and growth.
With high rates of formal unemployment in much of Africa, the informal economy has emerged as a major source of income for poor urban households. Migrants in and from cities in Southern Africa play a critical role in the informal economy, yet the importance of that role is often underestimated and even invisible to researchers and policy-makers.