Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Med Change Makers e03 : Jocelyn VENTURA, Integration into the global value chains of Moroccan SMEs


FEMISE recently launched its new series of interviews called « Med Change Makers ».

« Med Change Makers » are text and video-based interviews that allow dynamic FEMISE researchers to illustrate how their research addresses a policy-relevant question and contributes to the policy-making process in the Euro-Mediterranean region.



Integration into the global value chains of Moroccan SMEs

Interview with Jocelyn Ventura, Aix-Marseille University (France), Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE

Jocelyn Ventura, Aix-Marseille Université (France), Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE

Economists from FEMISE and Institut de la Méditerranée recently presented the preliminary findings of a study produced for the African Development Bank entitled “Identifying Barriers to Improving the Business Environment and Integrating the global value chains for Moroccan exporting SMEs “.

Jocelyn Ventura (Aix-Marseille University (France), Economist at Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE) contributed to the report. In this interview, he offers avenues for reflection on opportunities as well as measures that the state could put in place to improve the insertion of SMEs into global value chains.


1) What are the dynamics of Moroccan exports? What are the main export sectors?

There is a notable dynamic. Since 2014, Morocco has implemented an Industrial Acceleration Plan (PAI), one of whose objectives is to promote exports from the industrial sector. One of the goals of this plan is to strengthen Morocco’s international positioning by improving its attractiveness. Since then, Morocco has diversified the destinations of its exports especially to the rest of the world. Although Europe remains the leading destination for Moroccan exports, its relative importance has declined.

In addition to the traditional exporting sectors, there are more technology-intensive sectors that have emerged recently and have experienced a high growth rate: machinery and electrical appliances, vehicles, etc.

Moroccan exports are upgrading to a higher range with the emergence of new export sectors that are more intensive in technology. However, the growth rate of Moroccan exports remains lower than the one found in countries with comparable income levels. A possible explanation being that the competitiveness of exports has been reduced by the rigid exchange rate regime (recently relaxed). In addition, macroeconomic imbalances and the general business environment have been barriers to export growth.

2) What is the situation of Morocco regarding the integration of global value chains? What is its position relative to comparable or neighbouring countries?

Generally speaking, the Mediterranean countries, and Morocco in particular, are fairly well integrated in the GVC. The GVC participation index shows that Morocco’s integration into the GVC is equivalent to that of Turkey and close to that of Israel, but remains lower than that of Tunisia (51.1% in 2011) or other comparative countries (Chile, Romania, Malaysia …).

We observe that the participation of Morocco in the GVC is mainly backward or, in other words, it is the share of foreign VA in Moroccan exports that contributes the most to integration into the GVC. Backward participation is particularly important in Morocco’s main export sectors, such as vehicles, electrical machinery and textiles, which shows that Moroccan exports are part of internationalized production processes.

3) What are the main barriers to SMEs’ ability to sell their product in foreign markets?

Among the obstacles to the launch of an export activity cited by Moroccan SMEs, we can note the difficulty to enter foreign markets and to adapt the products to the standards imposed there, the difficulty to obtain financing, transport costs and cumbersome customs procedures. Also playing a role are the cost of currency hedging, the weakness of R&D and the lack of national export support agencies.

Among the policies demanded to reduce these obstacles is the establishment of relays in the target markets, an increase in the means available to economic advisers of diplomatic missions abroad, and also the creation of a special bank supporting export activities…

4) What opportunities would be offered by a better integration in GVCs of SMEs?

Opportunities are numerous. Between 60% and 80% of trade flows take place within the GVC. For a company in a developing country, integrating these GVCs would be a great way to export its production. The integration of GVC can also improve the productivity and competitiveness of the company. For example, better integration into these GVCs could facilitate the upgrading of both product quality and production processes standards, help improve employee skills, give access to new technologies, etc.

The fragmentation of production processes allows firms in developing countries, especially SMEs, to use comparative advantages to produce and export part of their value chain in which they are more competitive.

This would be one of the best ways to accelerate the growth of Moroccan exports, as well as the shortest way for SMEs to benefit from both productivity and competitiveness improvement and better positioning in the international market.

5) What policy could be implemented to improve the integration of SMEs into GVCs?

First of all, we can notice that SMEs will be at a disadvantage in the face of large companies, which benefit from better productivity and a better capacity to acquire and absorb new technologies, and therefore to integrate GVC.

Among the obstacles to be overcome are the lack of an efficient logistic services, the lack of product competitiveness, the difficulties to satisfy the requirements of ordering customers and to put the products and production processes to the required quality standards etc.

The State could therefore improve the integration of SMEs by offering them a support to bring products and production processes into conformity, a support for employee training, a support for networking with foreign companies, and finally and most importantly, an increase in available bank credits.

Interviewed by Constantin Tsakas

[1] This activity received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers.

Med Change Makers e02 : Simona RAMOS, Climate-Induced Migration: Issues and Solutions

FEMISE recently launched its new series of interviews called « Med Change Makers ».

« Med Change Makers » are text and video-based interviews that allow dynamic FEMISE researchers to illustrate how their research addresses a policy-relevant question and contributes to the policy-making process in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Med Change Makers e02 : Simona RAMOS, Climate-Induced Migration: Issues and Solutions

Interview with Simona RAMOS, Aix-Marseille Université (France), Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE

Simona RAMOS, Aix-Marseille Université (France), Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE

The latest edition of the ENERGIES2050 / Institut de la Méditerranée / FEMISE report “The challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean” provides insight into the specific place of the Mediterranean basin in the new International Climate Agenda.

Simona Ramos (Aix-Marseille University (France), Policy Researcher at Institut de la Méditerranée / FEMISE) contributed to the report by studying the link between “Migration and climate-change in the countries of the southern Mediterranean”.

In this interview, Simona Ramos offers avenues for political reflection to deal with the continuing effects of climate-induced migration.

  1. Regarding implementation efforts of the Paris Agreement which country/countries in the South Med region are examples to follow and why?

Countries in the South Med region do differ in their progress towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Morocco and Israel are considerably ahead in terms of policies and actions. At the core of Morocco’s current emissions reduction efforts stands the National Energy Strategy, which aims to extend the share of renewable electricity capacity to 42% by 2020 and to 52% by 2030. Morocco has demonstrated policy-in-action, with massive investment on solar energy debuting with the construction of the giant Noor solar complex (using concentrated solar power) near Ouarzazate. On the other hand, Algeria, Tunisia and Palestine, seem to be willing to take more valiant measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change although they also face serious constraints. For example, in terms of legislation, Tunisia became one of the few countries to recognize climate change in its Constitution, even though climate related policies in the country have still a long way to improve.

  1. You suggest that there has not been enough cooperation among South-South countries. Why is this so important and what are your suggestions in this regard?

Indeed, one of the key problems that South Med countries are facing is the lack of mutual collaboration in the implementation of their climate-based policies. A solid South‐South collaboration could foster significant improvement in the implementation of South Med policy implementation in terms of climate change. Cooperation can assist in mutual capacity building in the realm of research and development. Also, technological and know-how transfer can be fostered through Legislative and Institutional frameworks (ex. by developing technology transfer frameworks and enabling environments to integrate technology transfer policies at the national levels). The potential of South-South cooperation is vast and as such should be seriously taken into consideration.

  1. How do climate processes affect human migration? Has anything been done at the national policy level in this regard within SMCs?

Climate processes seriously affect human migration. Nevertheless, it can be argued that this topic doesn’t receive proper attention as contrary to climatic events, climatic processes occur in a gradual and cumulative way, and as such establishing a strict causal relation is difficult. Nevertheless, the effect of climate change on populations can operate in multiple ways. Water, food and land availability can be seriously affected and populations can be forced to migrate from affected areas. The South Med region has been among the most climatically affected regions worldwide, with sea level rise and desertification occurring on an ongoing basis. With regards to policy, what has been done so far has to do more with adaptation and mitigation measures (often as part of countries’ NDCs or NCs). Nevertheless, it can be argued that these measures do not necessarily tackle and/or fully address climate induced (forced) human migration.

  1. You state that current policy measures fail to fully address the ongoing effects of climate induced migration. Why and what are your policy suggestions to address the ongoing effects of climate induced migration in the South Mediterranean countries?

Although it can be strongly argued that current policy measures and climate based strategies are crucial with regards to climate change improvement, they are not expected to fully address the spectrum of climate change consequences, such as the one of “climatic processes-induced migration”. This is due to several reasons. Mitigation, adaptation as well as capacity building and technology transfer strategies take time to be implemented, which means that the millions of presently affected people are not likely to immediately benefit from these measures. Also, in order for these strategies to be effective, a global consensus is needed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as recent history has shown.

One of the policy recommendations in this regard would be to incorporate climate-induced migration under the international legal framework, as an adaptation strategy rather than as a failure to adapt. In this case, having a legal status for ‘climatic migrants” would properly address and protect people crossing bothers. Other suggestions include using “planned re-alocation”, an approach that has often been incorporated in cases of natural disasters. Many have favored this approach because it usually takes place within the borders of the country, allowing for higher flexibility and avoiding the complexity of requiring international agreements.

  1. How can re-allocation measures be used to address people affected by climate induced migration?

Planned re-allocation strategies can be complex and difficult to implement especially if a country lacks institutional, technological and financial capacity.

  • At first, there should be an early identification of populations exposed to disasters and other impacts of climate change or affected by mitigation and adaptation projects associated with climate change. A National Mapping of such populations needs to be systematized and publicly shared to maximize awareness-raising.
  • Planning for relocation should be integrated within the national strategies and requires the creation of an enabling environment, including a legal basis for undertaking planned relocation, capacity-building, institutionalization, and a whole-of-government approach.
  • The sustainability of planned relocation should be assured through adequate attention to site selection, livelihoods, integration (identity and culture), and host communities, among other factors.
  • Independent, short and long-term, quantitative and qualitative monitoring and evaluation systems should be created to assess the impacts and outcomes of planned relocation.
  1. What is the Green Wall Project and what are its implications and potential for South Mediterranean countries?

Planned relocation should be an option of last resort as it is a complex and expensive process. It is necessary to enable improvement in the living conditions of areas affected by climate change. One of the most prominent projects in this regard is the Great Green Wall, an African led initiative to green the desert (by growing more plants and trees) with a goal of providing food, jobs and a future for millions of people who live in regions that are affected by climate change.

The inability to make a living from the land can be an important push factor for migration. Greening areas that are currently scarcely populated and not able to fully sustain human necessities could bring multiple benefits as i. people already living in those areas wouldn’t be forced to move and ii. these areas could also serve as potential place for reallocation for people in neighboring affected zones. Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia are already partners within this project and could serve as an example to other SMCs.

Interviewed by Constantin Tsakas

Report “The Challenges of Climate Change in the Mediterranean” (2018)

FEMISE is pleased to announce the publication of the final version of the 2018 edition of the report on “The challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean: the Mediterranean in the new International Climate Agenda”, in the “Guides for Action” series. The report is a ENERGIES2050 – Institut de la Méditerranée – FEMISE coproduction.


The report (in french)  is available for download by clicking here


This report, coordinated by Stéphane Pouffary (ENERGIES 2050), Guillaume de Laboulaye (ENERGIES 2050) and Constantin Tsakas (Institut de la Méditerranée, FEMISE), presents in an updated way the realities of climate change in the countries around the Mediterranean basin and the actions implemented by stakeholders to respond to the challenges of the fight against climate change. The Mediterranean is one of our planets’ “hotspots” and the impacts of climate change are very pronounced and particularly visible on countries of the South and East shores. International mobilization on the climate issue shows there is a real awareness whether for the signatory States of the UNFCCC or for the non-state actors and subnational governments that are strongly mobilized.

However, the ambition of collective and individual commitments is unanimously recognized as very insufficient in view of the realities and challenges to which all  countries and territories concerned are and will be confronted. Moreover, beyond commitments, implementation and action remain insufficient, sporadic and fragmented. The Mediterranean is no exception and more than ever there is a need for setting up a common agenda for action as the pace of international negotiations is not the same as the speed with which changes and alterations take place.

Workshop on “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and Economic Attractiveness of local Territories”

UPDATE: View the summary of the event below:

The Mediterranean is one of our planets’ “hotspots” and the consequences of climate change will always be felt stronger than elsewhere. There are necessities for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and issues to be dealt with regarding water, desertification and adaptation needs of riparian countries. In addition to the necessary impetus at the state level, the measures that will respond to realities must also be declined at the level of territories to multiply means of action.

The workshop, organized by Institut de la Méditerranée and the Departmental Council of the Bouches du Rhône, in partnership with FEMISE and ENERGIES2050, addresses the actors for whom these issues have a resonance, the political actors of the territory as well as non-state actors (private operators, civil society organizations, universities …). While considering the recent and current economic situation, this workshop highlights the development opportunities to be seized. It illustrates the momentum created by local actors and makes a positive contribution to debates on climate issues in the Mediterranean in the light of current realities and challenges.

This workshop will also be an opportunity to present the ENERGIES2050 – Mediterranean Institute – FEMISE report on:

 “The challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean (2018)” (available here in french)


– The Concept Note of the Workshop is available here (in french).

– The program of the day is available here.

IM and FEMISE are participating with funding under the EU-FEMISE project “Support to Economic Research, Studies and Dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. The opinions expressed in this conference are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Med Change Makers e01 : JULIE HARB, Climate Change and the Lebanese Economy

FEMISE is happy to announce the launch of its new series of interviews called « Med Change Makers ».

« Med Change Makers » are text and video-based interviews that allow dynamic FEMISE researchers to illustrate how their research addresses a policy-relevant question and contributes to the policy-making process in the Euro-Mediterranean region.



Climate Change and the Lebanese Economy

Interview with JULIE HARB, Université St Joseph (Liban), Institut de la Méditerranée et FEMISE

Julie Harb (Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Institut de la Méditerranée, FEMISE)

The latest edition of the ENERGIES2050 / Institut de la Méditerranée / FEMISE report “The challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean” (available in May) provides insight into the specific place of the Mediterranean basin in the new International Climate Agenda.

Julie Harb (Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Policy Researcher at Institut de la Méditerranée / FEMISE) is one of the young researchers who contributed to the report. Julie Harb stresses the need for more public efforts for environmental protection and the need for a change in attitudes towards climate change.

1) With the Paris Agreement, countries committed themselves through NDCs (nationally determined contributions). All countries in the southern Mediterranean, with the exception of Lebanon, have ratified the Paris Agreement. How can this be explained?

Unfortunately, in its political agenda, Lebanon does not give a high priority to the issue of climate change and to the protection of the environment although the country begins to feel the effects of climate change. Other issues, such as the parliamentary elections, are perceived as more important. For example, ratifying the Paris Agreement would impose on Lebanon the application of the provisions of the treaty, which would influence public policies and protection mechanisms. As the authorities do not see this as a priority, the agreement is perceived as a “burden” in terms of legislation but also in terms of spending. Similarly, at the executive level, there are some initiatives such as the creation of a National Environmental Council that includes 7 ministries and 7 non-public entities that are expected to prepare plans and policies, to support, to integrate and to monitor all the policies of the ministry and all conventions and treaties. A National Coordination Unit on Climate Change (UCCC) has been set up to coordinate a total of 40 representatives who deal directly or indirectly with climate change.

2) What forces and efforts are underway for the protection of the environment and to limit the impact of climate change in Lebanon? What sectoral examples to put forward?

It should be noted that the State has made some efforts in the past in the protection of the environment through certain legislations: this is the case for example with the law no. 444/2002 which presents the only major legislation dealing directly with climate change in Lebanon or the law 341/2001 on the reduction of air pollution by transport which indirectly mentions the protection of the environment.

On the sectoral level, a renewable energy project was set up to supply 20 MW of solar energy and should have been finalized in 2016. However, to date, this photovoltaic farm supplies only 1 MW. The Ministry of Energy and Water has issued several laws concerning this sector but unfortunately no implementation decree has been added to the text.

3) What are the main weaknesses to combat the effects of climate change in Lebanon?

Despite a large number of decisions, laws and initiatives, there are still problems with the slowness of the process that will address this issue. The presence of multitudes of organisms responsible for the protection of the environment could be the cause of this slowness. The lack of coordination increases the weight of bureaucracy and leads to fragmentation of the issue. Nevertheless, I personally find that the essence of the problem lies in the lack of willingness of officials and authorities to address this issue.

4) Do NGOs and civil society contribute to change attitudes?

In recent years, NGOs and civil society have played a very important role in raising the awareness of the Lebanese people on the issue of environmental protection while creating a culture of sustainable development, but also by changing mentalities, encouraging recycling from schools and educational institutions. However, despite the great work done by these organizations at the level of the society, the latter can not sufficiently influence public policies and political decisions. More advocacy work would be needed.

5) What do you think are the priority actions to address and how?

The resolution of the waste issue, which started in 2015 and has not been able to be resolved effectively to date, should be put in first place in the environmental protection agenda by the authorities. As a Lebanese citizen, I find that this resolution requires a precise long-term plan prepared upstream, which is not the case today. A second priority would be that of cleaning the sea: indeed, in the face of the waste crisis, the state has decided to create waste zones next to the sea, which means that during storms, this waste has been dispersed in the sea, affecting the marine ecosystem and the quality of life of the populations.

In addition, Lebanese NGOs that lack support should establish more partnerships with international organizations acting on climate change that could adapt their solutions locally and increase the resilience of the Lebanese economy.


Interviewed by Constantin Tsakas



FEMISE MED BRIEF no6 : The Importance of Reconciling South MED Countries positions on The Paris Agreement

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region. The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers. 

The sixth issue of MED BRIEF “The Importance of Reconciling South MED Countries positions on The Paris Agreement” is available by clicking here.

The Paris Agreement is a breakthrough in global efforts to address the threats of climate change. However, fulfilling the agreement requires countries to rapidly implement nationally determined contributions (NDCs), meet emissions reduction targets for 2020 and set future targets that are even more ambitious. This is far from a done deal for the South Mediterranean (MED) countries.

Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE)

Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE)

This MED Brief, by Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE) argues that MED governments and stakeholders need to think about the various constraints on the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement, identify partners and practices that could complement the process more broadly. This brief alludes to the need of cooperation and collaboration between South Med countries themselves. Governments will need to develop a long-term plan on climate change and provide concrete steps to actually apply it. They need to deal better with domestic economic groups that contribute to the limited level of environmental reforms. Meanwhile, solutions shall always be made while considering the economic and social reality of MED countries.


The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.


The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Complexification of production as a vector of economic transition and the role of short-term policies

FEMISE is pleased to announce the publication of its research project FEM42-07, “The complexification of productive systems as a vector of economic transition in the MENA and the role of short-term policies”, coordinated by Pr. Nicolas Peridy (LEAD , University of Toulon).

Our work shows that the economic complexity of a country can be affected by the performance of its neighbors and then influenced by its own geographical position. However, this process may mask regional phenomena of divergence that must be related to the roles played by national and / or regional public policies, as well as the economic, structural and demographic dynamics (GDP / capita, education, innovation, natural resources, urbanization, …).

The main recommendations are :

  • Support the development of new and highly sophisticated products beginning with providing incentives to produce these new products, and targeting activities that have training effects. In particular, Tunisia and the UAE should develop complex products such as machinery, chemical and electrical industrial clusters
  • Quickly implement training adapted to technological changes
  1. Develop part-time training courses in technical, technological, industrial and service sectors in innovative and high value-added sectors
  2. Develop continuing education in these same sectors
  3. Open corporate training in the acquisition of specific skills in these areas (including WTO training on the role of international trade as a vector of technological sophistication)
  • Reform higher and vocational education
  1. Reinforce the adequacy of training in relation to new professions
  2. Develop partnerships with European, Asian or American universities
  3. Develop public / private partnerships
  4. Use the system of professionalized relocated diplomas
  • Develop innovative sectors (support for certain start-ups, FDI, development of free zones or technological business zones), particularly through a tax incentive policy
  • Improve economic freedom, in particular through administrative simplification laws. This will contribute to the improvement of the business environment related to a labor market reform aimed at making it more flexible, transparent and competitive (labor law)
  • Improve logistics performance with appropriate investments but above all appropriate reforms (commercial facilitation in ports, reduction and simplification of administrative procedures, improvement of the effectiveness of customs controls, automation of procedures, effective fight against corruption, etc.)
  • Improve governance, in particular to fight corruption effectively and promote transparency.
  • Reform taxation to make it simpler, more efficient and more incentive
  • Use sound macroeconomic policies, in particular to reduce the economic vulnerability of MENA countries (sustainable fiscal and fiscal policies, debt management, controlled monetary policies)
  • Improve the management of natural resources (gas, oil, etc.):
  1. use the benefits of natural resources to diversify and sophisticate the economy
  2. develop industrial zones based on comparative advantage in natural resources
  3. provide SME financing facilities and building the capacity of local businesses to accelerate structural transformation
  4. continued improvement of macroeconomic policies to effectively manage the risks associated with Dutch disease and the volatility of revenues from natural resources
  5. create a favorable environment for private investment.

These recommendations can be initiated and implemented quickly by public authorities which must send a strong signal to the economic actors in order to accelerate this process of sophistication of the Mediterranean economies, with the aim of promoting growth and employment, particularly qualified.


Ndiouga Sakho: “We must experiment within the territories, with the local actors”

Interviewed during the annual conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (Femise-Malta, 7 to 9 February 2018) Ndiouga Sakho, President of the Commission for Urban Development and Sustainable Development of the City of Dakar, discusses the actions of the Territorial Energy Climate Plan implemented in the capital of Senegal thanks to European and Mediterranean partnerships.

Ndiouga Sakho insiste sur la nécessité d'une coopération ville à ville (photo : F.Dubessy)

Ndiouga Sakho insists on the need for city-to-city cooperation (photo: F.Dubessy)

econostrum.info: How does the city of Dakar deal with the issues of sustainable development?

Ndiouga SakhoFor a few years now, the city has been engaged in the fight against climate change. Our capital is home to 80% of the country’s industrial activities in 3% of the country’s size.
We have begun to make a diagnostic of the vulnerability of the city, the environment, the social sector, the economy, and so on. Starting from 2013, we have put together an action and environmental management plan. This enabled us to mobilize €1M on a Territorial Energy Climate Plan financed by the European Union over three years, with a global vision around three points: an adaptation and mitigation strategy, a platform of the actors to cooperate and share lessons and failures, and finally, energy efficiency projects to strengthen the share of renewable energy in public lighting, for example, as in municipal infrastructure, and energy savings. Dakar, along with ten other cities benefiting from this plan, is a laboratory test in Africa with a goal of replicating our experience.
I insist on the city-to-city cooperation and the major role of the territories with the local actors, which are in the same time, the places of emissions as well as of the solutions. This is where we have to experiment.

On what points Dakar can serve as an example?
N.S. : The city has a lot of experience in the field of urban mobility, for example, a system of remote control of all traffic lights to regulate car traffic in case of pollution peaks, paving and street improvement to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using their vehicles. We are also developing public transportation with the BRT, a fast transport bus, and a TER. As well as the relocation of administrative services to be able to limit the concentration of activities in the city center.

Vegetable gardens in urban and school environments

La ville de Dakar fait la promotion des comportements eco-citoyens (photo : F.Dubessy)

The city of Dakar promotes eco-citizen behavior (photo: F.Dubessy)

What actions have you taken with the population?
N.S.: We have raised awareness of environmental culture in schools and with the promotion of eco-citizen behavior, but also by developing eco-neighborhoods. One of our projects is based on the installation of vegetable gardens in urban and school environments with training and capacity building activities that we have initiated. We are doing all this through a technical partnership with FAO (Editor’s note: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in Milan, where we have also been able to find partners within a city university. We have shared this experience with other neighboring countries.

Are you also trying to adapt solutions from Mediterranean countries?
N.S.: Our partnerships in the Mediterranean are unfortunately not very well developed. But, we did several missions in Paris to study the implementation of their climatic plan. Similarly, with the city of Marseille, we have developed our master plan for beach development. The city of Marseille has helped us install pilot projects for our eight beaches.

Interviewed by Frédéric Dubessy, in LA VALETTE (MALTA)


Subscribe to the Econostrum newsletter : http://www.econostrum.info/subscript

Inequality and inclusive growth : Are education and innovation favoring firm performance and well-being?

FEMISE is pleased to announce the publication of its research project FEM42-10, “ Inequality and inclusive growth in the South Mediterranean region: Are education and innovation activities favoring firm performance and citizens’ wellbeing?”.

The research project was coordinated by Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso (University Jaume I and University of Goettingen) and includes the following 3 papers:

Returns to Vocational and University Education in Egypt

While tertiary skills are important for growth in developed countries, it is primary and secondary education that are related to development in developing countries. Despite the substantial expansion in technical and vocational education in Egypt, the labor market lacks technical skilled workers not only in numbers but also in competences. This paper examines the impact of education on labor market outcomes in Egypt, with a focus on returns to vocational secondary and technical higher education in 1998, 2006 and 2012. We provide estimates of incremental rates of return to education based on selectivity corrected earnings equations and quantile regressions that give credence to the view that technical education has generally been inequality reducing in Egypt. The main policy implication of this paper’s analysis is that quality and labor market relevance of vocational education remains the key to an effective reform. Encouraging private businesses to invest in vocational education will be of little use if the trainees are still faced with social stigma that relegates them to low-paid jobs. Therefore, a policy recommendation is to design governmental measures to improve the ‘image’ of vocational education in Egypt.

Gender Gap and Firm Performance in Developing Countries

This paper uses firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) to investigate productivity gaps between female and male-managed companies in developing countries and to compare the outcomes obtained for different regions in the world. We depart from the previous literature by using the gender of the top manager as target variable, which is newly available in the 2016 version of the WBES. The main results indicate that it is crucial to distinguish between female management and female ownership and also the confluence between both. We find that when the firms are managed by females and there are not female owners, they show a higher average labour productivity and TFP. However, if females are among the owners and a female is the top manager, then their productivity is lower than for other firms. These results are very heterogeneous among regions. In particular, results in South Saharan Africa, East Asia and South Asia seems to be driving the general results, whereas in Latin America and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, female participation in ownership seems to be negatively related to firm performance.

Real convergence between ENP and southern European countries: a cluster analysis

This paper analyses the convergence pattern of GDP per capita, productivity, inequality and unemployment in both ENP and southern European (SE) countries. It follows the methodology proposed by Phillips and Sul (2007, 2009) in which different convergence paths can be distinguished among heterogeneous economies involved in a convergence process. This heterogeneity is modelled through a nonlinear time varying factor model, which provides flexibility in studying idiosyncratic behaviours over time and across section. The main results from the convergence analysis show that whereas there is convergence in unemployment, GDP per capita and productivity between EU and ENP countries, no convergence is found for inequality. Among the challenges of an evolving neighbourhood, inclusive economic development should be included in the new ENP approach.

8th Mont Blanc Meetings: IM and FEMISE at the International Summit of Social Economy

How can the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) contribute to supporting growth and employment in Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPs)? This is the question to which the presentation of Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE) offered elements of response at the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings (RMB) (6-8 December 2017, Archamps, Greater Geneva), the International Summit of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) organized by ESS International Forum (Permanent Co-Secretary of the International SSE Pilot Group, Observer Member ate the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE).

Dr. Constantin Tsakas (Institut de la Méditerranée, FEMISE) (photo:RMB)

Dr. Tsakas presented the preliminary results of a chapter of the forthcoming FEMISE EuroMed 2018 report produced by Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) during a session on “Effective responses to sustainable impacts: social cohesion, solidarity and inclusion”.
Dr. Tsakas emphasized that SSE could become a tool for economic, financial and social innovation adapted to MPs. The latter are facing today many problems related to unemployment, lack of inclusiveness, the informal economy, limited growth… The SSE sets a frame of reference for rebuilding social ties around the economy, to better value resources and assets of territories and anchor development, to provide training and mobilize available skills in an entrepreneurial dynamic. The SSE allows for :

  • The mobilization of numerous young people, which are looking for a job and are progressively oriented towards entrepreneurship.
  • The establishment of a more inclusive economy because the SSE knows how to create jobs for vulnerable people that neither the State nor traditional companies can integrate.
  • Economic diversification and upgrading.

As civil society has understood, since the Arab Spring there has been an effervescence and increased emergence of SSE structures. Real success stories help meet the needs of the people …

In Morocco, which counts 15700 cooperatives (including 2287 women’s cooperatives) and 120 000 associations (with more than 15 million members), the value chains of SSE entreprises are made up of private sector companies: production cooperatives in the agricultural sector, crafts and / or fishing market their production in the private sector (local, regional, small and large retail markets).

In Egypt, initiatives are led by the private sector and have emerged to address the growing inability of governments and traditionnal private sector activities to meet the diverse needs of poor households for certain services and products.

In Tunisia, the country has nearly 20000 associations with more than 12 million members, half of whom have been created in the past five years under the impulse of the post-revolution civil society. The agriculture and fisheries sector is one of the sectors with the most SSE entreprises.

Panelists at session on “Effective responses to sustainable impacts: social cohesion, solidarity and inclusion” (photo :IM).

However, in general, the state does not sufficiently support the SSE in the South Mediterranean and does not create the necessary conditions for its sustainability. Dr. Tsakas emphasized that at the heart of the SSE dynamic lies the issue of project funding and resource mobilization. Preliminary results indicate that the financing of SSE enterprises must be a priority of concern for local, national and also EuroMed authorities. A “SSE finance” allowing access to liquidity and credit in relation to shared coordinated objectives is necessary. It would be appropriate for each MP to support, most notably through the establishment of an enabling regulatory framework, the emergence of “social”, “participatory” or “ethical” banks to channel funds to useful, sustainable and inclusive projects. It would also be wise to encourage SSE financing by microfinance institutions that have a developed territorial network. It would also be possible to innovate by proposing types of Social Impact Bonds (SIB), very popular in the Anglo-Saxon world, which make it possible to finance social programs (fair trade, social tourism, access to culture etc.) by private investors. The 2018 EuroMed report will suggest tools that can be supported by all local, national and international actors and which allow addressing the identified funding obstacles.

In conclusion, Dr. Tsakas emphasized the need to develop a strategy for the emergence of SSE ecosystems and social entrepreneurship on 3 axes (Macro-Meso-Micro). Dr. Tsakas provided an overview of FEMISE’s vision for the emergence of such ecosystems:

  • Support to the development of a policy and regulatory environment conducive to the growth of social enterprises through national strategies and advocacy panels.
  • Raising awareness and building the capacity of meso actors in the ecosystem to support the growth of social enterprises. MED mapping of these support actors, the generalization of training activities and the exchange of good practices would contribute to this process.
  • Finally, there is a need to better demonstrate and promote the economic potential of social enterprises in creating value and jobs in MPs. A true methodology that quantifies the social impact is needed here. The same is true for financial support for social entrepreneurship, for entrepreneurs training and for mentoring initiatives.

These and other issues will be developed in detail in the next FEMISE 2018 Report, which will focus on private sector development in the Mediterranean (Q1 2018).

The powerpoint presentation of Dr. Tsakas to the RMB is available by clicking here.

Prior to the publication of the FEMISE2018 EuroMed report coordinated by Pr. Patricia AUGIER (Pt of the Scientific Committee of IM and FEMISE, Coordinator of FEMISE), we also suggest some excerpts from interviews with three key actors of social entrepreneurship in the EU -MED.

You can also  revisit the FEMISE-EIB pilot study (2014) coordinated by IM on the potential of SSE inclusivity in Southern Mediterranean countries.

Follow us on Twitter by clicking here.