Market analysis to foster employment of young people in Mali

Title Avenir Brillant- Creating socioeconomic opportunities and strengthening child protection mechanisms for potential migrants in transit and returning to Mali

Location Bamako and Kayes Regions, Mali

Duration 2020 – 2023

Project leader  Plan Italia Onlus

Partners ActionAid International Italia onlus, EnGreen Srl, Plan International Mali, Cooperativa Sociale QUID.

Fuding Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs



Mali shows an extremely young demographic profile: the population is almost equally distributed among individuals under 14 years of age and working age citizens. At the national level, the official unemployment rate in 2014 was around 25.6 percent, with great geographical disparities and difficulties in the rural areas. Total salaried employment represents only 9.3% of total employment, since the informal economy remains very large in the country and, specifically, in rural areas, where precarious work is widespread.

National youth unemployment rate, that is population aged between 15 and 39 years old, is stagnant around 15%. However, independent assessments suggest that it could be as high as 50 % when underemployment is taken into account. In rural context youth unemployment rates are extremely high, and this represents a serious threat to social cohesion.

These factors can be considered as push factor for emigration as many citizens leave to settle elsewhere, in other cities or States. Mali is indeed a country of emigration and transit migration, and rural areas are the key regions of origin of Malian migrants


General Objective

The project Avenir Brillant aims at reducing the migration pressure in the regions of Bamako and Kayes by creating new opportunities of socioeconomic development and by strengthening mechanisms of migration prevention, both for those transiting and returning to Mali.

The objective of the analysis conducted by ARCO is to identify The main characteristics of the labour market, with a specifi focus on young people (potential migrants). Results of the analysis will constitute a starting point to create and develop training sessions based on the needs expressed by young people.


Our contribution

To carry out the research, ARCO analyzed the labor market in Bamako and Kayes with specific attention to the conditions of young people.

Both the supply and demand sides of labour market were analyzed using mixed methods, thus offering a complete picture of the situation. Further to examine existing data at the national level (LSMS survey), ARCO contributed to a field data collection in the territories of intervention (Bamako and Kayes). Specific tools for the data collection have been developed for conducting interviews and Focus Group Discussions; the material has been presented during a training session organized for local enumerators. Then ARCO has been responsible of supervising the data collection and analyzing the information gathered by the local enumerators.

To read more extensively on the reseach, the executive summary is available here (French only):

Read more on our Inclusive Development Unit