Ethiopia: Programme Focusing On Building Youth Potential Paying Off –

Building the Potential of Youth Activity Programme is in a good progress in building the potential of youth workforce for the nation’s economic development through soft skill training, financial literacy and business development support.

The USAID programme is being implemented by Save the Children Ethiopia in Amhara, Tgray, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples, Afar, Oromia and Harari states. A two-day conference that showcase the program’s progress and experience was opened here yesterday.

Youth and Sports Ministry Youth Organizations Support Director Mulugeta Hailu said the programme, which is expected to benefit 35,000 in five-year term, is in a good progress being implemented in six states.

According to him, the Ministry is working together with different NGOs focusing on government strategies to reduce unemployment, personality development and build youth centres. He said 16 million Birr has been allocated to implement the programme.

USAID Ethiopia Deputy Mission Director El Hamzaoui said 6,000 youth have been provided with soft skill training, financial literacy and business development support since the programme was launched last year. Some 45 per cent of the youth beneficiaries were women and girls.

According to Hamzaoui, today’s rapidly changing economy presents new challenges and opportunities, seemingly almost every week. Therefore, optimists point to the potential of youth as future drivers of economic growth, she emphasized.

Building networks and providing knowledge and skill to 35, 000 Ethiopian youth is a small number, given that Ethiopia has approximately 28 million youth in the 15-29 age bracket. As a result, the government, donors, the private sector and the youth themselves ought to work together, according to her.

Save the Children Ethiopia Country Director John Graham said from the total youth assisted under this programme, 25 per cent of the youth are moving on to employment, moving in to business and success.

One of the beneficiaries, Addisu Mulat from South Gondar Zone of Amhara State told this reporter that he received training and support before launching own business, poultry farming with 17,000 Birr capital. “Currently, my capital has grown to 120,000 Birr in a year.”

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