Employment-Intensive Investment in Mali

Web page | 10 December 2014

Current EIIP Involvement

Youth Employment
In Mali, 73% of the economically active population work in the informal economy and one third of the workers are young (aged between 15 and 39 years). The youth unemployment rate is remarkably higher than the total average (12% in the whole country and 32% in Bamako). The Agency for Promotion of Youth Employment (APEJ) has implemented a national program that includes a project on youth labour market integration insertion through labour intensive investments (PEJHIMO). A youth employment tax of 2% on the payroll has been implemented to finance the National Fund for Youth Employment.

The implementation of PEJHIMO has created more than 70500 workdays since 2006 and has directly contributed to the integration of approximately 700 young workers into the labour market through the exploitation of the agricultural perimeter and market gardener products, the maintenance and restoration of tracks, quarry exploitations, and street paving. Paving and use of local materials’ techniques are included in the professional training programs as well as in all youth camps across the country. HIMO implementation techniques in construction have been progressively extended to other investment programs such as the Agricultural Sector Support Program, the Road National Direction to Bamako and the private sector.

The ILO has worked in partnership with APEJ for the development of pilot studies according to HIMO techniques, the strengthening of the capacity of local communities and local administrations so that they can assume the responsibility of investments included in national and local budgets, and in the setting up of a National Framework Agreement that encourages dialogue among national partners in charge of investments at a decentralized level, in particular State representatives, workers and employers, territorial administrations and Members of Parliament. The PEJHIMO is funded by Mali’s Government and by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in its first phase. It is being executed by APEJ with the ILO’s technical assistance and in collaboration of other several partners, among which the Technical School for Engineering, Architecture and Urbanism, the Agricultural Sector Support Program and the Niger Office for the Maintenance of Irrigation Channels.

Historical Information

Labour-based forestry
Since 1990, with financial support from Norway and the UNDP, the ILO has assisted the Government of Mali in the implementation of a labour-based forestry project in the Kita district.

The project’s main objective is the creation of employment and income opportunities through a rational exploitation of natural resources. To achieve this objective, capacity building activities for concerned local actors were organised. The project achieved important results in terms of community participation and income generation at local level. An innovative contractual approach was introduced which allows a negotiation on the use of natural resources between local communities and government authorities.

The project's third phase (MLI/98/M01/NOR) started in July 1998. This five-year phase maintained the objectives of the previous phases but was more concerned with the long-term sustainability of project interventions. Increased attention wass given to the commercialisation of forestry products, on the effective utilisation of the savings made, as well as on the institutionalisation of the contractual approach introduced by the project. The area of intervention expanded, which led to a higher visibility of the approach used and results obtained.

The project operates in an institutional framework which is rapidly changing in line with the country's decentralisation policies. The national counterpart has recently changed and is now the National Directorate for the Conservation of Nature of the Ministry of Environment.
At the request of the Government, an ILO mission was also fielded during the second half of 1999 to formulate an Employment Policy Unit, which advises the Government on how to promote employment in mainstream investment programmes. The mission was organised and funded by the MDT in Dakar.