Ethiopia is a country of the young people. The majority (70%) of its population is under the age of 30. Sadly a large shart of them are unemployed. National data reveals that unemployment rate has reached 17.5% (CSA, 2016). Out of these, women the most affected (24%). In the capital city Addis Ababa unemployment stands at 21% (CSA 2015 cited in UN Habitat, 2017) i.e. every household in Addis Ababa has at least one unemployed person.
With funding from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), SNV, Save the Children, Mercy Corps and Techno Serve came together in a consortium for the Livelihoods improvement for women and youth in Addis Ababa (LI-WAY) project to address the unemployment challenge. Th project is now starting its implementation phase.
The project has selected key implementing partners to achieve its goal of improving the livelihoods and ensuring better income for 200,000 people (50% women and 75% youth) by 2022. In its Inception Phase, lasting 11 months, the project worked with key public and private sector actors.
Implementing partners speak
Hailemichael Asrat, from Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Agency, Ministry of Education, said that the objective of LI-WAY aligns with the government’s target set for TVETs. “The TVET sector has the ambition to make 90% of graduates employed within one year of their graduation date. The government set this target to maximise the effort of the development partners too” said Hailemichael.
The representative added that practical engagement with LI-WAY starting from the beginning, Diagnosis Stage, has helped them to develop important training manuals which are key for driving TVETs’ delivery. This, in turn, has helped the Ministry to enhance the capacity of the TVET community. On the other hand, Hailemichael has identified the areas where his office needs the project’s support: conducting and digitising labour market study and doing labour market.
Representing the job matching service provider, Eskinder Mamo, said AhadooTec ICT Solutions PLC shares a common vision with LI-WAY in working to improve the livelihoods of the young people. People who have a job can have a better life as they can afford better education, health and other basic needs. By working with LI-WAY his organisation has targeted to create big impact tapping into the additional business opportunity. The Ahadoo team is looking for a business model that will work for the public as well as the private sector such as Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs.
Mikiyas Eshetu, from EMD Building Finishing and Installation Works, a private TVET, said the partnership with LI-WAY has helped his institution to make mind set shift. “As a business oriented organisation our focus was on profit making. But LI-WAY challenged us to become social-value oriented business. This project is a glimmer of hope for people living poverty” explained Mikiyas. The TVET has allocated quota for sponsorship candidates unlike its practice. In its engagement with LI-WAY, EMD has assessed its internal capacity and identified gaps.
Manager and owner of a pro-poor day care service provider, Sitota Day Care, Embet Ayele, also said that she was excited to learn that there is an interest to work with the service sector unlike the public sector which is too much focused on motivating the manufacturing sector. “It gave me energy to advocate for an improved enabling environment for the service sector so that the pro-poor care giving sector attracts more actors” said Embet.