SNV in Zimbabwe started the Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) project in 2019. The project is made possible through partnerships with the Swedish International Development Cooperation agency (Sida Zimbabwe) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC Southern Africa).
OYE Zimbabwe seeks to improve the livelihoods and future prospects for 10,000 youth by creating “green” employment and enterprise opportunities in agriculture, energy and other related sectors. At least 50% of them are young women. The project aims to sustainably increase youth employment and income by skills and capacity development of youth (push factor), linking these youth to market opportunities for employment and enterprise development (match factor), coaching and mentoring them in growth sectors that have concrete potential for employment creation (pull factor).
OYE applies a market-systems approach, with optimal involvement of relevant actors and stakeholders in youth employment. Early 2019, SNV in Zimbabwe finalised an extensive market scan activity in which a broad range of opportunities for (self-) employment have been identified in different geographic areas. The market scan results have been validated by a large audience of national and local stakeholders from public and private sectors.
OYE is an SNV product which was designed in 2013 to address youth employment upon invitation from Mastercard Foundation which resulted in a five-year pilot program in Tanzania, Mozambique and Rwanda. Using this model, SNV works with private sector companies, public sector actors, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions and training and coaching providers to identify and exploit opportunities that exist for youth in “green” Agriculture and Energy value chains. Following successful implementation in other African countries, OYE is now implemented in Zimbabwe to address youth unemployment and underemployment. OYE has grown into a very practical approach that works way beyond skills training, and has been tried and tested in an increasing number of African countries.
OYE Regional Hub
Under the partnership with SDC, SNV in Zimbabwe has established a regional Southern Africa knowledge hub, based in Harare. This hub connects the OYE Zimbabwe project with OYE projects in Zambia (also funded by SDC), Mozambique (funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) and Tanzania (funded by SDC Tanzania). This regional knowledge development network will also benefit from the experiences from previous OYE programmes in East and Southern Africa.
The Southern Africa regional OYE hub takes the SNV OYE interventions to higher strategic levels by means of systematic knowledge development. Knowledge development will be informed by action research – in 2020 focusing on gender and access to finance – and project interventions in the four above mentioned countries. Moreover, the regional hub will develop an innovative communication strategy and products – building on practices developed in earlier projects that have already resulted in a wealth of highly attractive and accessible written and visual documentation. Key in everything that will be developed in knowledge and communication is the voice of the young women and men we are working with.
To provide skills and capacity development to Youth (PUSH)
To link youth to market prospects for employment and business development (MATCH)
To identify and promote opportunities in growth sectors that have concrete potential for employment creation (PULL)