IMF official: Arab countries need 28 mn job opportunities over upcoming 7 years

CAIRO – 16 September 2019: Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour said the Arab countries need to provide more than 28 million job opportunities during the upcoming seven years.
Addressing a workshop organized by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Azour said the only way for the Arab countries to create job opportunities is the enhancement of financial inclusion and funding the small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to help improve the livelihood of youths and marginalized categories as well as increasing dependency on financial technology.
He said enhancement of the financial inclusion and SMEs projects could up growth rates in Arab countries by 3 percent in the coming three years and increase the availability of job opportunities by 1 percent annually.
Azour pointed out that AMF is cooperating at a large scale with central banks and governments in the region along with international financial institutions to bolster the financial inclusion.
He also asserted that efforts to guarantee the availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services have gained much attention from the central banks, a matter which motivated the IMF to form teams to help in achieving the targets of financial inclusion and extend technical support to countries which fund SMEs as well as marginalized categories especially in the rural areas, youths as well as women.
Meanwhile, Director General of the AMF Abdel Rahman Al Hamidi said the AMF has recently issued a comprehensive guide book on financial inclusion in Arab states upon a request of the governors of the Arab central banks, noting that there are many initiatives and steps that have been undertaken to achieve financial inclusion and ease the funding process of SMEs.