It connects economic, political, and academic decision makers and multipliers from a variety of countries and sectors, making the EMA an excellent platform for mutual exchange that has proven to be an independent and reliable interlocutor for the region. EMA members benefit from special services: The exploration of the Mediterranean and Arab markets for German foreign trade is a solid rock in the broad range of EMA services. The EMA presents business opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), fosters the creation of sustainable partnerships, and advises member companies on initiating and implementing their plans. In addition, it offers regional and country-specific forums, implements its own projects, and releases expert publications and market studies.
The EMA is committed to creating socially and environmentally sustainable structures and perspectives. Together with its partners, the EMA stands for corporate social responsibility, the economic development cooperation and – through the German-Arab Mentoring Program – for the promotion of the role of women in the economy and society.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development “BMZ” (German Development Cooperation) has been cooperating with North African countries for decades. The key topics are the long-term challenges: economic development, energy, water and education. Since the so-called Arabellion of 2011, the countries are in a state of upheaval. Political instability, weak economic activity and high unemployment are affecting the outlook for the future, especially among young people.
In order to respond to the complex challenges in the short term, the BMZ has set up the “Special Initiative on Stabilization and Development in North Africa, Middle East” (SI MENA)” in 2014. The SI MENA projects focus on four related fields of action: youth employment, economic stabilization, democratization and the promotion of peace through the stabilization of neighbouring countries in crisis situations. In this way, the special initiative fits seamlessly into the long-term focus and secures the already achieved development success at the same time.
Since the Arabellion upheavals, it is more than important to strengthen state structures and to support good, citizen-oriented governance. This is the only way to ensure that the citizen trust in the state will keep growing and to ensure a sustainable stability. In addition, the economy needs to be supported in order to open up new personal perspectives for people - for example through better career prospects.
The projects of the SI MENA are helping to reduce conflicts and are contributing to the stabilization of the societies. They are characterized by particularly rapid effects for the people, focusing on regions which have been disadvantaged until now. The SI MENA focuses on the impact on employment, especially for women. In this context, the SI MENA has been financing the German-Arab mentoring project "Ouissal" since 2017.