Secondary education: key to promoting the Mediterranean economy

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The Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Mediterranean (ASCAME) and the Global Citizenship Education Fund (GCEF) advance in the collaboration to promote the economy of the Mediterranean region in a resolute commitment to responsible and high-quality secondary education. 

ASCAME General Coordinator, Anwar Zibaoui and the Chair of the GCEF Board of Directors met at the ASCAME General Secretariat headquarters to explore the synergies and mutual benefits of a possible collaboration between the two entities. A relationship that can be very fruitful since, at present, the GCEF focuses some of its main corporate social responsibility projects in countries of the Mediterranean region such as Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan or Lebanon. A strategic region in which a partner such as ASCAME, the main representative of the private sector in the Mediterranean, can bring its valuable know-how and expertise while facilitating access to the commercial fabric of the region.

Young people make up more than 60% of the total Mediterranean population, an indispensable niche for the growth and long-term sustainability of the regional economy. However, despite the potential of this part of the population, the high unemployment rate in the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean does not guarantee them a dignified and competent future in their countries.

With 40 million unemployed youth and 27 million without education or training, the Middle East and the Maghreb have the highest unemployment rates among the world's young population. An urgent problem that requires urgent solutions, for which governments, businesses and the education sector must join forces.

ASCAME considers that it is at school that the two fundamental factors directly related to education are found: economic efficiency and social equity. It is an essential place that, without adequate training to meet the needs of businesses, does not increase employability and harms economic development in the region. The GCEF works with high schools in Morocco and Tunisia to improve the skills and knowledge that facilitate their future integration into the business world.

Given the decisive role that young people will play in the future of the economy, it is fundamental that the countries of the region, and in particular the chambers of commerce, play a leading role in promoting regional economic development, to support in a decisive way all measures that have a positive impact on the economic growth of the Mediterranean.  In this sense, ASCAME has shown its interest to progress in collaboration with the GCEF and to include social responsibility issues in the contents of secondary education, thus favouring the approach of Mediterranean young people to the world of business and to the real economy.

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