Young people in Mali often lack decent employment opportunities, leading to high levels of unemployment. A consortium of ICCOWASTEAPEJ, led by SNV, and funded by EuropeAid will implement a Value Chain Development and Youth Employment in Mali (OYEM) project. The project aims to train 8,620 young people, including 2,586 women and 1,293 returnees, and create 6,472 jobs.

After selecting 2,400 young people for 2018 from amongst 31,000 applicants, the OYEM project last week started implementing its training programme. Distributed over five locations in Bamako and Koulikoro, 240 young people began their journey with the project.

The atmosphere during the first day sessions of the training was very good. The attendants were happy that they could get started. The overwhelming enthusiasm of young people for the project was confirmed once again, as 98% of the selected young people attended class. More than half of them are women.

Those absent in the first meeting were contacted and asked if they still wanted to join. Some wanted to withdraw. They will be replaced by young people who had been selected to begin their training programme during a later cohort.

The training of the first cohort starts

The selected students will follow a short and practical training programme to provide them with the basic life and technical skills that they need to be successful in their employment. After the initial programme, the participants will finalise their business plans in their preferred sector, like horticulture, waste management, agribusiness or handicrafts. The project staff will continue to coach them to acquire the basic equipments they need to kick-start their economic activities and their career. A selection of promising business cases will qualify for intensive coaching to realise their plans as SME, including support to acquire access to finance.

The training of the first cohort in the Kayes and Gao regions will start this week.


Sadda Laouali

Project manager