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A female worker in a shoe factory in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is renowned for beautifully designed leather products and experts say developing the industry in a socially sustainable manner will create dignified employment opportunities for millions of young people in the country/Photo: Screenshot/UNIDO

Job opportunities for 10 million youth in Ethiopia

Over 10 million young people are expected to access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in Ethiopia by 2030.
 

This follows the launch of an initiative, Young Africa Works in Ethiopia, by Mastercard Foundation that will seek to create employment opportunities for the youth in partnership with Ethiopia’s Jobs Creation Commission (JCC). Mastercard Foundation has committed an initial US$300 million to the initiative.

Young Africa Works in Ethiopia is aligned with the Ethiopian government’s plan to create new jobs to spur economic growth and was designed in partnership with the government, the private sector, academic institutions and young people.

Mastercard Foundation will work with JCC to create programs to catalyze growth in the tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and ICT sectors. Programs will support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses to achieve greater productivity and expand income-generating opportunities.

‘Ethiopia’s prosperity will be achieved when we individually achieve our full potential first. Creating jobs for all, particularly, youth and women, is about giving people hope, dignity and the means to build this prosperous future,” says Dr Ephrem T. Lemango, Commissioner, Jobs Creation Commission.

 
Dr. Ephrem T. Lemango, Commissioner, Jobs Creation Commission; Reeta Roy, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, and Alemayehu Konde Koira , Country Head Ethiopia, Mastercard Foundation celebrate the announcement of Young Africa Works in Ethiopia. This initiative aims to see 10 million young Ethiopians access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030. Mastercard Foundation has committed an initial USD300 million to the initiative /Photo: AMA

 

The Foundation announced its first phase of implementing partners, including the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kifiya Financial Technology, First Consult PLC and DAI Europe, Dalberg, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and SNV. The cumulative value of the first phase of partnerships is over US$119 million and will see more than 1.4 million direct work opportunities contributing to Young Africa Works in Ethiopia’s goal of 10 million work opportunities by 2030. 

 

“Through my travel across Ethiopia, I’m inspired by the creativity and dynamism of young entrepreneurs and how their innovations are bringing about meaningful change in their communities,” says Reeta Roy, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO. “Young Africa Works will support them by providing access to finance, business development support and skills development so they can further scale their businesses to create more jobs for young Ethiopians.”

Learning from its work in 34 countries on the continent, including Ethiopia, over the past decade, the Foundation will deepen its engagement in 10 African countries. Ethiopia is a priority country because of the government’s commitment to reform the policy and regulatory environment to encourage the development of the private sector and attract foreign investment. Since 2009, the Mastercard Foundation has committed more than US$62 million to advance financial inclusion, education and youth livelihoods.

“It’s hard owning your own business, and I failed at least twice, but if you follow your passion, then you are able to really impact people’s lives. What keeps me going is knowing that my drive does not come from making a profit, but from creating jobs that are giving people a livable income and helping them flourish and grow. As an entrepreneur, I want to improve the productivity, creativity and sustainable growth of my company but this means access to capital and land so that I can expand and scale my business,” explains 29-year old Semhal Guesh, Founder and CEO of Kabana Leather in Addis Ababa, a start-up that was established in 2017 and now employs more than 80 people, 80% of them young women.
 
Report distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation.

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