Welcome to the land of the young people!

Youth building a digester

Worku Behonegne, Ethiopia country director welcomes all to the OYE 21 conference

On behalf of SNV, I am pleased to invite you to the [Opportunities for Youth Employment International Conference 2021]( Worku Behonegne, Ethiopia country director welcomes all to the OYE 21 conference), to be held in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, on 19 and 20 October 2021.

Young people make up 70% of Ethiopia’s population. While the Government of Ethiopia and its development partners are increasing their investments to curb youth unemployment, the number of under- and un-employed continues to rise.

It is against this backdrop and on behalf of SNV and Sida, I would like to extend this invitation to join our youth employment event under the theme “Innovation, Inclusion, and Inspiration”

Due to the COVID situation, we are organising this conference as a hybrid event with virtual sessions and a limited number of in-person participation. For online registration, please access the registration form here.

Addressing the barriers to youth employment

In SNV’s experience, the chronic high youth un- and underemployment is due to various factors, including:

  • School systems frequently do not prepare young people for the needs and realities of the job market.

  • Limited growth and incentives to the private sector to absorb the huge community of youth in developing economies.

  • A lack of implementation of pro-youth policies.

  • Youth employment and entrepreneurship initiatives that are not effectively coordinated to optimise impact. For example, training and skills development services that are provided to youth are not best aligned to their aspirations.

Reaching more young people with OYE

To contribute to the alleviation of unemployment amongst young people, SNV is currently implementing two specific youth employment and entrepreneurship projects in Ethiopia: Livelihoods Improvement for Women and Youth in Addis Ababa (LIWAY) and Realising Aspiration of Youth in Ethiopia through Employment (RAYEE).

These projects work to sustainably improve the lives of 450,000 young women and men using the OYE approach. Together with our partners, we identify and create employment opportunities (pull factor), provide market-tailored employability skills and capacity development for youth (push factor), and link these youth to the identified and enhanced market opportunities (match factor). SNV is delighted that thousands of young men and women have started securing dignified and fulfilling employment and income.

Supporting thousands to improve their lives

To date, the LIWAY project has been implementing different youth and women-focused interventions with 89 implementing partners. As a result, the project has created employment and increased income for 11,864 women and youth. Out of this cumulative achievement, 51% (6,069) are women (young and adult) and 71% are youth (48% young women and 52% young men).

By partnering with these private sectors and GOE market actors, the project has mobilised a total of ETB 224,609,719 (€ 4.2 million) to date. Of this, a total of ETB 15 million (€ 280,000) is from partners in this reporting period.

With the support of the RAYEE project, 6,527 businesses started creating employment for 34,556 youths. In addition, the project has partnered with 15 Financial Service Providers: and MSEs mobilised ETB 311,251,340 (€ 5.8 million). That has a positive effect on the lives of many.

Cooperation is key

This is a challenge that can be solved only by providing sufficient information to all actors in this sector. At this OYE International Conference, we will collectively reflect on past milestones and develop plans and approaches to strengthen, better empower, and assure social, political, and economic inclusion of young women and men, as they pursue ambitions either as wage earners or career entrepreneurs in agriculture, energy, water and other high growth sectors.

Worku Behonegne

Country Director,

SNV in Ethiopia