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This project links to the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts to address the problem of youth unemployment. The strategies of Empower Youth for Work (EYW) project in Ethiopia are:

  • Organising and strengthening local youth groups;
  • Sharpening the skills and confidence of the target youth through a research and evidence-based approach;
  • Engaging the private sector in facilitating sufficient economic opportunities for youth;
  • Grounding and legitimising change through youth-driven and community-based approaches;
  • Building upon traditional and modern communication systems to expand and disseminate youth and women’s empowerment;
  • Contributing to the gradual transformation of the traditional socio-cultural definitions of women’s/girls’ empowerment;
  • Engaging religious and tribal leaders, as well as other influential personalities;
  • Contributing to the creation and strengthening of an enabling environment for youth and women’s empowerment.

To facilitate implementation, the project is establishing a multi-stakeholder platform in each of the two intervention regions. The platform will serve as an important entity to facilitate effective project implementation, as well as to closely oversee and follow-up on the achievement of project results. The platform will have youth representatives as members who will ensure that decisions are made according to the needs of young women and men.

The geographic areas where Empower Youth for Work is implemented are the Arsi and West Arsi zones of the Oromia regional state, and Sitti and Faafan zones of the Somali regional state. Considerations used to select the areas, among others, include:

  • Current capacity in the regions;

  • Local partners and their relationship such as to finance institutions and opportunities for change in terms of access to markets;

  • Number of families who are dependent on agriculture and pastoral livelihoods with limited productive assets and low productivity (including participants of the Productive Safety Net Programme);

  • Regions characterised by vulnerability to food insecurity because of repeated market failures, climate and environmental degradation;

  • Good potential for vegetable and livestock production to supply local markets, development of private companies, small and medium micro-enterprises, which if successfully linked to broader markets, could contribute to alleviating the national challenge of youth unemployment;

Females account for more than 51.3% of the rural population in Oromia, and more than 47.9% in Somali, and women lack the capacity and assets to invest in agricultural and pastoral livestock productivity.


  • Key achievements (July 1 to June 1)

    • Held inception workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 17-21 October 2016
    • Revised project design and MEAL framework
    • Selected partners and recruited staff
    • Held start-up workshops in all targeted areas
    • Began capacity building with partners and staff including holding workshops on influencing and innovation
    • Secured government buy-in for collaborative processes, including commitment of some families and government officials
    • Conducted market assessments
    • Secured Commitment from the Oromia Saving and Credit Share Company (OCSSCO) and Somali Region Micro Finance Institutions
    • Shared a draft Memorandum of Understanding among Oxfam, RCWDO and OCSSCO, for the guarantee scheme, for inputs
    • Established private sector collaboration
    • Youth Advisory Board under establishment

In The Picture

Read the latest news, personal stories, research and other information from the Empower Youth for Work programme in Bangladesh.

  • An engine for youth start-ups

    Abdurehman Eid, partner in the Empower Youth for Work programme, shares his views on the Business development services for youth start-ups in rural areas. One of the topics explored during the Global Learning Event.…

  • Kick-off Annual Global Learning Event

      In November, the Empower Youth for Work team came together in Thailand for the first annual Global Learning Event. 37 participants including country teams, partner organizations and technical advisors…

  • Update

    We would like to give you an update on the Empower Youth for Work project, where we will focus on what has been achieved the first quarter of year 2.…


For more information about Empower Youth for Work in Ethiopia please contact:

Fekadu Ethiopia, Communications Officer