Youth Jobs Strategy Takes Shape


Jobs packages and strategy launched ast week




After a year of preparation, the Ethiopian government has launched the first set of actions to address unemployment amongst youth. Among other things, the package includes the 10 billion Br revolving fund.

The package is expected to benefit unemployed youth between the ages of 15 and 29. A committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen supervised the preparation. Out of the total population of Ethiopia, 71pc is under the age of 30. Last year, 22pc of youth aged 15-29 were unemployed. The general unemployment of the country is around 16.9pc.

In urban areas, unemployment has reached 16.9pc, with 9.4pc of men and 24.7pc of women unemployed.

The strategy and the package comes in the aftermath of political unrest in large parts of the country. The package ostensibly discusses how to make sure that youth benefit from social, political and economic aspects of life.

“The selection of those who should be included under the package has already begun,” said Naseir Legesse, communication director at the Ministry of Youth & Sport.

“It is only those in the relevant age group who are unemployed who should be selected.”

In a bid to give a comprehensive framework for the implementation of the package, each public office at both the regional and federal level will form a dedicated office that will be responsible for the administration of the package.

The blue print document proposes to assist selected youths through loans, job creation schemes and entrepreneurship. Part of the loan scheme is to enable groups of five to access loans for their business ventures. In a bid to make loans more accessible, beneficiaries will be expected to save only 10pc of the amount they are asking for. The interest rate of loans from the revolving fund will be around half the average rate in banks which around 18pc. Applicants who are unable to provide collateral will be part of a lease financing program.

“The only thing we require from applicants is that they should part of the ongoing training, that they save the required amount, and that they come up with feasible business plan,” said Nasier.

The government has launched a two-week training scheme that is already underway, it aims to teach youth about entrepreneurship and the options that are available to them through the youth scheme.

“Those who have no capacity to save will get other options, like engagement in government mega projects,” said Nasier.

The package also underlined the need to ensure the rights of youth in rural Ethiopia to access farm land.

Youths who lost their farm land because of development will receive compensation, and those who don’t have access to land will be part of a distribution scheme, according to the package. Moreover, the package proposes a resettlement of the youths in a bid to provide them with arable land.

“Half of the 10 billion Br revolving fund is expected to be allocated in the coming half budget year,” said Nasier.



By DAWIT ENDESHAW
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jan 17,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 872]


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