Photo courtesy of K.C.

SOCIEUX+ supports the promotion of employment for vulnerable groups in Côte d’Ivoire

Since 2011, Côte d’Ivoire has arisen as one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. This has been partly due to the recovery in its agriculture sector. The country is one of the largest producers and exporters of cocoa, coffee, and palm oil. Despite this favourable economic context, the Ivorian job market continues to face many challenges. The Ivorian job market is mainly informal, with 93.6% of the active population working informally. Although there have been significant improvements in recent years, almost half of the country’s population (46%) still lives below the poverty line. Economic growth in the country remains inaccessible to many, as not enough decent jobs are generated for the vulnerable; a category that includes young people, women, people with disabilities, and the long-term unemployed (people over 35 years old with difficulties finding employment).

Since the end of the post-electoral crisis in 2011, the Ivorian government has invested heavily in human development, as well as initiatives that meet the skills needed in the current job market. It tasked the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection (MEPS) with preparing policies to support vulnerable groups in finding employment.

The overall objective of the request submitted to SOCIEUX+ by the General Directorate of Employment (DGE), part of MEPS, asked for contributions in promoting the employment of vulnerable people by building the capacities of participants and exchanging good practices. An initial visit, which took place from 25 March to 5 April 2019, resulted in a systemic and organisational diagnosis of the 12 institutions involved in supporting employment for vulnerable groups in the country, with the formulation of 12 cross-functional and operational recommendations, each accompanied by exchanges of good practices. A second visit, carried out from 16 to 27 September 2019, utilised a participatory approach to create a capacity-building plan, with 26 priority actions, for the benefit of MEPS staff and associated structures.

Based on the achievements of the first two visits, a third activity was carried out by the public experts mobilised by SOCIEUX+, Karim Chetioui (from ACTIRIS, the Brussels Regional Office of Employment) and Abdoulaye Sow (from the Ministry of National Education and Youth in France), from 17 to 28 February 2020. Its objective was to launch the operationalisation phase of the capacity-building plan, targeting the promotion of decent employment for women. The activity had the following positive results:

  • The joint construction of the steering system for implementation of the capacity-building plan for officials at MEPS and associated structures.
  • Capacity building for Women’s Training and Education Institutes, to align their trainings with the demand for occupational skills.
  • Sharing good practices in matching the supply of training with the demand for occupational skills, to improve the employability, social and occupational integration of women.

The success of these initial activities was due in part to the excellent collaboration with DGE, which was based on mutual learning and a willingness to improve service provision to help vulnerable groups find employment. The involvement of other associated structures was also an important factor. With these efforts, DGE has managed to strengthen its leadership in the field of employment promotion and employability for vulnerable groups. This indicates successful appropriation of the process initiated with the support provided by SOCIEUX+.

The next step for DGE’s fourth collaboration with SOCIEUX+ will be to continue operationalising the capacity-building plan. The main activity will be to supplement the training course for Youth Employment Agency (AEJ) counsellors with training modules on the concept of disability and techniques for successfully providing career guidance and job placement services for people with disabilities, which will specifically contribute to integrating people with disabilities into the world of work.

SOCIEUX+ 2018-22 Côte d’Ivoire
Experts mobilised by SOCIEUX+ for this activity:
Karim Chetioui, from ACTIRIS, the Brussels Regional Office of Employment.
Abdoulaye Sow, from the Ministry of National Education and Youth in France.