FES MENA Youth Study 2021: Maghreb Youth

"Maghreb Youth in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia", a symposium organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) in Tunis. A title in plural to emphasize the diversity and plurality of a youth considered as a homogeneous group while it is full of specificities and heterogeneity.

In autumn 2021, twelve thousand young men and women between 16 and 30 years from the MENA region were at the focus of a large quantitative survey aimed at discerning their opinions and perceptions regarding current issues and topics such as politics, gender, climate change, and civic engagement. This is the second survey of this kind that the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has conducted for the edition of its FES MENA Youth Study.

In this context, a symposium was organized with sociologists and researchers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to discuss the first results obtained. With the richness of the content, the debate focused on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, food insecurity as well as environmental issues in the Maghreb countries.

Dr Fadma Ait Mous (Hassan II University, Casablanca) stated that the role of the family remains predominant and often replaces that of public policies, particularly in terms of housing, job search and financing. An observation shared in the three countries.

As for Algeria, Dr Khadidja Boussaïd (CREAD institute, Algiers) presented data showing that 65% of respondents feel exposed to an environmental crisis. But they are divided on whether environmental awareness has increased in Algerian society in recent years or not.

For Tunisia, Dr Imed Melliti (El-Manar University, Tunis) pointed out a remarkable lack of interest in politics for Tunisian youth as well as a persistent trend of emigration intentions. Despite the difficult situation in Tunisia, young people express optimism about their personal future.

The analysis of the FES MENA Youth Study results by country will be published at the end of the year while the second edition of the Regional Youth Study shall be presented in 2023.