[Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- 6 May 2021] Soil and More Ethiopia and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) announced the launching of youth employment project supported by USAID CATALYZE: Market System for Growth (MS4G) program. The program aims to provide skills training and employment opportunities for 2000 youth in the urban landscaping and greenery sector in Addis Ababa.
The City of Addis Ababa is grappling with a surge in rural-to-urban migration, particularly by young people seeking employment opportunities. Ethiopia’s youth unemployment stands at 27 percent (USAID, 2017), with Addis Ababa’s unemployment rate standing at 19.3 percent.
Soil & More in partnership with EAGC, MS4G and the City of Addis Ababa Government is working to address urban youth unemployment by training and placing 2,000 youth in urban landscaping jobs. The trained youth will be deployed as part of the Agency’s plan to create 12,000 jobs in the urban landscaping and greenery sector to develop and maintain public spaces and parks across the city.
At the launching event that took place at Kolfe Keranyo Sub City, Addis Ababa, the representative of the Addis Ababa City Government River Basins Green Area Development and Administration Agency, Mr. Lealem Tesera, noted that “there is a need to raise the maintenance standard of urban parks and public spaces as part of the country’s agenda to beautify its urban areas while providing jobs for the youths.”
In describing the program, Mr. Hussen Ahmed, Managing Partner of Soil & More Ethiopia, emphasized that the project’s demand-driven approach is designed to ensure sustainable impact by training youths on technical, administrative, and regulatory compliance matter while also equipping them with skills to market their services to other potential clients within and outside Addis Ababa. He further highlighted the potential of this initiative for upscaling to other urban centers across the country that are grappling with similar challenges in youth unemployment.
Mr. Yohannes Assefa, USAID CATALYZE: MS4G in Ethiopia Country Director said, “the MS4G program is keen on strengthening the capacity of market led workforce skill building through public-private partnerships to bridge the mismatch between the demand for jobs and the supply of skilled labor in the urban landscaping sector. MS4G promotes competency-based training that focuses on equipping trainees to produce the desired outcomes and meet real-world performance expectations.”
Speaking on behalf of EAGC, Mr. Kimwaga Mhando, Trade Policy, Research & Advocacy Manager, encouraged the youth to seize this opportunity presented by the training and job placement program and said, “I call for greater collaboration between industry bodies, tertiary education institutions, vocational education programs and the government to address the mismatch between skills demanded by employers and those possessed by young people.”
Dr. Eshetu Lemma, Manager of the Addis Ababa city administration Solid Waste Management Agency welcomed the efforts by Soil & More Ethiopia and its partners to upskill youths that can provide high quality services to the Agency, and further called for the program to also consider supporting the Agency to enhance its internal capacity to manage urban spaces and city parks as per its mandate.
About Soil & More Ethiopia (SME)
Soil and More Ethiopia is a for profit private company engaged in environmentally and socially sound business in general that creates a fair share of contribution towards the sustainable development agenda of the country. It is a for-profit social enterprise that strives to promote sustainable and climate smart agriculture from grass root level through addressing the issue of healthy inputs, tailored technical services, addressing knowledge and market gaps to support smallholder farmers, particularly women and agribusinesses to adapt to climate change.
About Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC)
The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) is a regional, not-for-profit, membership-based organization for the grain value chain in Eastern Africa. EAGC has members in 10 countries in Eastern Africa: Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, with its Headquarters based in Nairobi, Kenya.
EAGC’s Grain Business Institute (GBI, www.grain.institute) has over a decade of experience in offering training, business advisory and mentorship programs to various players in the agribusiness sector within and beyond Eastern Africa. It offers a wide range of training courses that target all levels of the agribusiness value chains from farmers up to processors and service providers. For more information, please visit www.eagc.org
USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people progress beyond assistance. It is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. For more information, please visit https://www.usaid.gov/
USAID CATALYZE: Market Systems for Growth (MS4G) is a four-year $44 Million project with seven objectives designed to drive private enterprise expansion to CATALYZE Ethiopia’s future economic growth and prosperity. MS4G intends to foster enterprise-driven growth, especially among private enterprises that have high growth potential and the capacity to CATALYZE job creation throughout market systems.
USAID CATALYZE: Market Systems for Growth (MS4G)
Yohannes Assefa: firstname.lastname@example.org / +251 911513808
Soil & More Ethiopia
Hussen Ahmed: email@example.com / +251 911 523940