African Development Bank logo Kingdom of Morocco Ministry of Economic Inclusion Small Business Employment and Skills logo
North Africa Regional Conference
eina4jobs logo Programme de Partenariat Dano-Arabe logo International Labour Organization logo The World Bank logo European Bank logo French Development Agency logo German Agency for International Cooperation logo United Nations Development Programme logo

About the event

The main objective of this high-level conference is to offer a space to take stock of the challenges facing workers, entrepreneurs, and MSMEs in the aftermath of the pandemic and outline a general roadmap to accelerate the recovery by creating investment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The conference will be forward looking, focusing on solutions and innovations in the design and implementation of existing policies and programs. The conference main outcome will be a high-level policy declaration for the region outlining the key elements of a general strategy to create quality jobs by facilitating the emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities and mobilizing private investments to support the expansion of MSMEs. The document will be drafted ahead of the conference in consultation with government counterparts and key development partners.


Time (Rabat time) June 7, 2022 – Technical Experts Discussion
  Opening remarks
08:30 – 09:00 Participants’ arrival and connection
09:00 – 09:25
  • HE Younes Sekkouri, Minister of Economic inclusion, Small business, Employment and Skills (MIEPEEC), Morocco 
  • H.E Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance, Morocco 
  • H.E. Nasreddine Nsibi, Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Tunisia
  • Yacine Fal, Vice-President Regional Department, African development bank (AfDB)
09:25 – 09:30 Testimony:  Mohamed Dardouri, Wali - Coordinator of the National Human Development Initiative (INDH), Morocco
  Inaugural Session – Part 1: The Future of Labor after COVID19, Implications for Jobs Strategies and Entrepreneurship and MSMEs Development
09:30 – 09:45


David Robalino, Advisor - eina4jobs platform, AfDB

  Inaugural Session – Part 2: The Role of the Public and Private Sectors in Promoting Investments, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation
09:45 – 10:35 Panelists:
  • H.E Salim M. Almalik, Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO)
  • Martha Phiri, Director of Human Development, AfDB
  • Jesko Hentschel, Department Director Maghreb and Malta, World Bank
  • Mohammed Talallj, Vice-President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises(CGEM), Morocco
  • Ismail Douiri, Managing Director of Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
  • Toyin Adeniji, Executive Director, Micro-enterprises for the Bank of Industry, Nigeria

Moderator: Mohamed Gueye, Sector Manager for Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, AfDB

10:35 – 11:00


  • Fatima Boutaleb, Deputy Director - Laboratory of Entrepreneurship and Management of Organizations of Hassan II University, Morocco

Questions/Answers Session

11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break
  Session 2 – Lessons Learned on Entrepreneurship Programs and Operational Innovations
11:20 – 11:25

Testimony: Alaya Bettaieb, Managing Director, Smart Capital for Startup Act, Tunisia

11:25 – 12:45

Panel 1: Views from Policy Makers and Practitioners (public and private dialogue)


  • Mohamed Achiq, Managing Director of the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC), Morocco
  • Férihane Korbi Boussofara, Managing Director, National Agency for Employment and Self-Employment (ANETI), Tunisia
  • Eng Tarek Shash, Deputy Executive Director, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (MSMEDA), Egypt 
  • Hicham Zanati Serghini, Managing Director of Tamwilcom, Morocco
  • Anouar Gaddour, Executive Office Member, Tunisian General Union of Labor (UGTT), Tunisia (TBC)
  • Loay El Shawarby, Lawyer, Investor and Mentor for Start-ups, Egypt


  • Gehane El Sokkary, Principal socio economist, AfDB


  • Mostapha El Jai, Vice -President – Micro-SME commission, CGEM


12:45 – 2:15 Lunch break
2:15 – 2:20

Testimony: Mbarka Bouaida, President of Regions Presidents, Morocco

2:20 - 3:20

Panel 2: Views from Development Partners, International Cooperation and Governments - Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) Contribution to the 3 S Challenge


  • Martine Therer, Deputy Resident Representative, United Nations Development Program, UNDP
  • Loubna Bourkane, Principal Youth Employment Specialist, AfDB
  • Johanne Buba, Senior Economist, World Bank
  • José Manuel Medina Checa, Enterprise Development and Job Creation Specialist, ILO
  • Mohamed Idrissi, Head of the Sector Financing and Financial Inclusion Division, Directorate of the Treasury and External Finance (DTFE) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), Morocco

Moderator: Adil Khalis, Economist expert on entrepreneurship and employment issues - eina4jobs platform, AfDB


3:20 – 3:30

Testimony: Sherif Lokman, Sub-Governor for Financial Inclusion Sector, Central Bank of Egypt

3:30 – 4:30

Panel 3: Views from Development Partners, International Cooperation and Entrepreneurs - Building Partnership for Entrepreneurship (Governments, DFIs and Private Sector)


  • Calogero Sciandra, Branch manager, AFD
  • Nadia Laraj, Senior technical advisor, GIZ
  • Adil Chikhi, Director Banking North Africa, EBRD
  • Ait El Habti Fatima Ezzahra, Division Manager, Technological Platforms & Clusters, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Morocco

Moderator: Tamer Taha, Advisor to the Minister of International Cooperation on Innovation, Digitalization and Entrepreneurship, Egypt


4:30 – 5:00 Coffee break
5:30 – 6:30

Technical committee on the Policy declaration (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia)

Time (Rabat time) June 8, 2022 – Strategic Discussions and Presentation of a Policy Manifesto
08:30 – 09:00 Participants’ arrival and connection
09:00 - 09:10 Brief of day 1 and expected results of day 2 (MC)
09:10 – 09:30

Entrepreneurs’ testimonials

  • Mustafa Abd Ellatif, Co-founder and CEO of E-Youth, Egypt
  • Rachid Khazaz, Assocciate Director of Enova R&T, Morocco
  • Samia Ben Abdellah, Architect and Creative Director of AwA, Tunisia
  Session 3 - A Policy Declaration to Create Jobs by Promoting Entrepreneurship and the Growth of MSMEs
09:30 – 10:15

Ministerial Panel

  • HE Younes Sekkouri, Minister of MIEPEEC, Morocco
  • H.E. Dr Nivine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Director of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (MSMEDA), Egypt
  • H.E. Nasreddine Nsibi, Minister of Employment, Tunisia
  • H.E. Dr. Hala Helmy El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt (virtual)

Moderator: Moustapha Mellouk, Master of Ceremony

10:15 – 10:30 Coffee break 
  Session 4 – Operational Innovations, Employment Policies, and the Social Rates of Return of Investing in Entrepreneurship and MSMEs Development Programs
10:30 – 11:10


  • Mohamed El Azizi, Regional Director for North Africa, AfDB
  • Federica Saliola, Director of the World Development Report 2019, World Bank
  • Richard Jones, Director, SME Finance & Development Group, EBRD
  • Rania Bikhazi, Director for North Africa, ILO

Moderator: Benomar Ahmed Khalid, Minister Advisor, MEF, Morocco

11:10 – 11:25 Signature Ceremony of the Policy Declaration led by HE Younes Sekkouri, Minister of MIEPEEC, Morocco with Ministers from 2 countries.
11:25 – 12:00

Closing remarks:

  • HE Younes Sekkouri, Minister of MIEPEEC, Morocco
  • H.E Nasreddine Nsibi, Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Tunisia
  • H.E. Dr Rania El Mashaat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt (virtual)
  • Achraf Tarsim, Country Manager - Morocco Office, AFDB
  • HE Jesper Kammersgaard, Ambassador of Denmark, Morocco
  • Edward A. Cristow, Resident Representative, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

Press Conference

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and End of the Conference