SNV's Opportunities for Youth Employment partners with FINCA Tanzania

SNV's Opportunities for Youth Employment partners with FINCA Tanzania

SNV's Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) programme signed a 5-year partnership with FINCA Tanzania, on promoting youth's and youth led enterprises' access to financial services in order to realize their employment and business ambitions.

SNV reinforces the employability and business skills of youth through the OYE programme, making them more reliable to handle finance, FINCA Tanzania will facilitate access to financial services, advise on appropriate financial products and compliment business skills development training.

FINCA Tanzania, started its operations in Africa in Uganda as a micro-finance NGO and later on expanded to Tanzania whereby it’s currently operating with 27 branches. SNV OYE is a 5-year programme focussing on youth development implemented in Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique in the Renewable Energy and Agriculture sectors. "We believe that with this partnership both FINCA and SNV through the OYE project shall be able to help and create more opportunities for youth and hence complement government initiatives of poverty eradication in Tanzania”, said Mr. Edward Greenwood, CEO of FINCA.

OYE has finished the first year training activities in 4 Renewable Energy sub-sectors and 6 Agricultural sub-sectors. "Over 1300 youth between the ages of 18 – 30 have received theoretical, practical, and basic life skills training, plus an introduction into business. The OYE team is impressed by the ambitions of these motivated youth, but of big concern is the inability to access finance such as loans. The youth shy away from banks and SACCO's because of the high interest rates, that can go up to 25%", Awadh Milasi, Project Leader Agriculture in Tanzania explains during the launch.

The next step in the OYE programme is business skills development training and on-the-job training for self- and formal employment. The interest of the youth is geared towards setting up their own enterprises. Vesso Iddi, one of the youth that was trained in the dairy value chain in Tanga, explains during the press release that the youth in his class formed a group and started providing extension services to farmers. "Together we set up a business, and the farmers are very happy with our services on how to feed the dairy cattle. Our next plan is to revive the cattle dip in Mabowkeni so that the dairy animals do not suffer so much from ticks and flees. Right now we are funding our activities through a group saving scheme, but the business can grow much faster if we can get a loan".

FINCA Tanzania received 2 million (Euro/Dollar) from the MasterCard Foundation for agency banking. OYE youth will have an added advantage of being providers of FINCA agency banking services as they grow their businesses, which will speed up youth development in Tanzania. OYE youth will have access to loans with an interest rate as low as 2 – 5%, which will be less of a heavy burden on the youths' enterprises.

Late October 2014, business skills development training sessions will be rolled out across 12 regions in Tanzania, reaching about 530 youth. In phase 1 this will be co-facilitated by FINCA to create a link with financial institutions right on the training room floor.