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The Challenge of Youth Bulge in Africa and the Middle East: Workshop Report

The workshop related to The Challenge of Youth Bulge in Africa and the Middle East was organized by the NATO Strategic Direction South (NSD-S) Hub on 31st March and 1st April 2021. This complex and cross-cutting project, organized in partnership with the NATO Defence College (NDC) as part of the NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC), was made possible by a collective effort structured around a network of trusted partners, namely the African Union Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division (CPEWD - AU, Ethiopia) and the Policy Centre for the New South (PCNS, Morocco). We also thank the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS, Ethiopia) for the productive relationship we have developed with them on this topic.

The event opened on the morning of 31st March, 2021, with an intervention at the NATO Defence College in Rome by the Director of the Hub, Brigadier General Davide RE.

This was followed in the afternoon by a first panel presenting the key findings of the papers that examined the challenges posed by the Youth Bulge, focusing in particular on empowerment and radicalization; migration and brain drain; and education and employment. The presentations elicited an interactive exchange with the NRCC participants. 

The following day, the Hub and the NDC had the opportunity to exchange further with youth representatives from the MENA region and Sub-Saharan Africa on the topic at hand. 

The objective of this report is to compile and outline the main findings of the work conducted by the HUB and its partners. The initial working papers are available on the Hub's website: 

-Empowerment and Radicalisation (with the African Union): Youth Bulge: empowerment and radicalisation (

-Migration and The Brain Drain (with PCNS): Challenge of the Youth Bulge in Africa and the Middle East - Migration and The Brain Drain.pdf (

-Education and employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: YOUTH-BULGE-EDUCATION (


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