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Promoting Employment through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region



The project “Promoting Employment through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region (RE-ACTIVATE)” is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to explore and harness the multiple dynamic linkages between sustainable energy technologies and local socio-economic development. read more

In particular, RE-ACTIVATE is working to support the creation of labor-intensive markets  for renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In doing so, it seeks to support the current ambitious plans of MENA states to use RE/EE technologies and applications as a platform and driver for local job and value creation. The project puts a particular focus on small(er), decentralized energy generation and conservation approaches, which are particularly labor-intensive and can more easily be sourced locally.

RE-ACTIVATE is contributing by

  • identifying and disseminating relevant good practices and success cases among partners and stakeholders;
  • supporting the development and implementation of new integrated policy concepts and market development strategies for labor-intensive RE/EE technologies and applications;
  • helping to build up and strengthen the necessary technical and professional capacities at both individual and institutional levels;
  • working to concretize and operationalize the achieved insights with the help of pilot projects and other on-site measures that have a measurable impact on local employment;
  • supporting the exchange of experience as well as the creation of networks both within and among the countries of the region.

The project has a time frame of almost four years: it started in March 2014, and will end in December 2017.

Project Roll up


Project Architecture


RE-ACTIVATE’s main aim is to help explore and concretize opportunities and potentials for RE/EE-based value and employment creation in MENA with maximizing effects for local stakeholders. To reach its goal, it provides targeted and tailored technical assistance for the use of applications that require an over-average volume of local labor. This applies particularly to energy efficiency in buildings, industry and agriculture, as well as to distributed energy generation, especially by means of photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind energy.

In order to fulfill its mission and achieve its objective, the project supports the partners in the MENA region and especially in its three focus countries Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, in making targeted use of the socio-economic benefits of RE/EE. It helps them to correctly identify the employment effects of different applications and to further improve their policy approaches in this respect. It facilitates the development of suitable framework conditions and adaptable support instruments and helps to build skills among stakeholders. It also initiates concrete promotion measures and carries out pilot projects. Successful examples are documented and fed into policy dialogues at various levels. This makes it possible to create further multiplier and leverage effects and pave the way for their replication and up-scaling.

RE-ACTIVATE is pursuing a flexible, decentralized, network-based approach, adapted to the needs and wishes of its partners and supported by local teams in its three focus countries as well as by a regional network of partner organizations. This allows it not only to make effective use of the existing experience and assets at local and regional levels, but also to bridge gaps and fill voids, wherever necessary. The philosophy behind this approach has been to complement and reinforce the work of its partners and other like-minded actors at both local and regional levels, helping them to identify and valorize existing or potential complementarities and synergies across national borders and sectoral boundaries. RE-ACTIVATE’s work is therefore clustered around four main work packages:


A key goal of RE-ACTIVATE is to promote the actual use of viable market opportunities for RE/EE in MENA which are ready to use (or about to emerge) and do not require extra policy, legal-regulatory or financial support by public authorities or international organizations (the only exception being capacity building through technical assistance and risk mitigation, both of which should be as market-based as possible and not distort competition).

To this end, RE-ACTIVATE has been carrying out a number of studies to investigate

  • In which fields exist viable local markets for RE/EE in MENA?
  • What volume do these have at the present time or in the near(er) future?
  • What part of them is currently or could potentially be used by local actors?
  • What are their actual or projected employment effects for the host countries?
  • What are the observed or expected capacity building needs for local actors?
  • What are good practices for boosting local job and value effects of RE/EE?

For that purpose, RE-ACTIVATE has conducted or commissioned three main types of studies:

► A compilation of worldwide good practices for RE/EE employment creation in developing and emerging countries (SE4JOBS)
► An assessment of RE/EE employment effects in MENA partner countries
► The provision of guidance documents for policy makers, investors, and experts


Team & Partners

RE-ACTIVATE is working on various levels: on the national level, in its three focus countries, and on the regional level, which in principle encompasses all MENA countries. Moreover, targeted cooperation activities are carried out with selected key partners in major front-running countries in the sustainable energy field worldwide, including Germany.

RE-ACTIVATE relies on a network of national teams in its focus countries, as well as on a region-wide network of partner organizations. A key role in this regard is being played by the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) in Cairo, which also supports RE-ACTIVATE as a national antenna for Egypt. read more

RE-ACTIVATE’s main national partners at the country level are the responsible state institutions (mainly those in charge of energy, but also, where applicable, those in charge of employment, industrial and agricultural development, training and research, etc.), in addition to selected business representatives and training institutions.

Key partners at state level are the New and Renewable Energy Agency (NREA) in Egypt, the Tunisian Agency for Energy Conservation (ANME), the Tunisian Agency for Agricultural Investment (APIA), the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), and the new Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE) (formerly Moroccan Agency for Renewable Agency and Energy Efficiency, ADEREE).

Key partners at the private sector level are the Cluster EMC in Morocco as well as the Renewable Energy Cluster in Tunisia, in addition to individual firms working in this field.

With regard to training, RE-ACTIVATE is also closely cooperating with the concerned professional associations and certification bodies in its focus countries.

Other key partners are the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the League of Arab States (LAS), and the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), with which the project is regularly organizing events and activities at the regional and international levels.

In the pursuit of its mandate, RE-ACTIVATE is also closely collaborating with concerned GIZ projects at the national, regional and global level as well as with other like-minded bodies whose aim is to promote sustainable energy and socio-economic development in the MENA.

This allows it to adapt its work to the wishes and needs of its partners, to make targeted and agreed use of their expertise and assets, to help create synergies with them and more generally to support knowhow transfer and experience sharing across national and sectoral boundaries as to how sustainable energy can support local development and vice versa.

  • Main Partners and Interlocutors in Egypt
  • Main Partners and Interlocutors in Morocco
  • Main Partners and Interlocutors in Tunisia
  • Main Partners and Interlocutors in at Regional and International Levels

Planning & Monitoring

RE-ACTIVATE is following a comprehensive planning and monitoring process reflective of the mandate given by BMZ and based on the Capacity Works Model and the Impact-Focused Approach of GIZ. This planning and monitoring process covers the entire lifetime of the project and consists of the following key elements which are updated at regular intervals:

► Concept, objectives, indicators and management structure of the RE-ACTIVATE Project

Impact Chain Model and Monitoring Tool of the RE-ACTIVATE Project

Focus Country Actor Charts of the RE-ACTIVATE Project

Focus Country Roadmaps of the RE-ACTIVATE Project

Annual Progress Reports of the RE-ACTIVATE Project

► Final Project Report of the RE-ACTIVATE Project (Link) (to be developed)

In order to allow for a regular exchange among team members and to provide for the necessary coherence of the project work, RE-ACTIVATE has been organizing planning workshops in its partner countries, where both activities and results are systematically reviewed and where the planning and its operationalization are, if necessary, adjusted.

Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Rabat February 2014

Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Tunis February 2016

Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Rabat April 2016

Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Beirut September 2016

Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Cairo February 2017

► Team Retreat and Planning Workshop Cairo September 2017 (Link) (under preparation)

In order to better understand the interaction between RE/EE deployment and job/value-creation and to assess the impact of selected project activities on local labor markets, RE-ACTIVATE is currently engaged in an impact assessment process covering its three focus countries. This impact assessment is carried out in close cooperation with its local partners, taking into account available results and experiences in this respect, both on the ground and at the level of GIZ in general. Results will be made available here before the end of the project.

Key GIZ monitoring and impact assessment documents and tools

► Key RE-ACTIVATE monitoring and impact assessment documents and tools (Link) (in the process of finalization)


This article is part of the RE-ACTIVATE project. RE-ACTIVATE “Promoting Employment through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region” is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).