The Embassy of Switzerland and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) have announced a partnership to scale the “Opportunities for Youth Employment” (OYE) project in Tanzania. The OYE project directly engages the government, private sector, civil society organizations and financial service providers to ensure that ambitious young people develop skills that employers seek, matching them with concrete opportunities for employment or self-employment.
The Ambassador of Switzerland in Tanzania, H.E. Florence Tinguely Mattli, praised the OYE project as an innovative and unique model for youth employment. “Switzerland is committed to engage in skills development in Tanzania and this is the first step into the implementation of its vision to support youth employment and enterprise development,” she said. “Fostering youth employment and self-employment in rural areas will be key to achieve more inclusive economic growth and create added value in rural Tanzania.”
“Youth employment is on top of my working agenda for Dodoma Region,” said Hon. Jordan Rugimbana, Dodoma Regional Commissioner. “I commend the efforts of our development partners who are working towards bridging the unemployment gap.”
The OYE project was launched by SNV and the MasterCard Foundation in 2013 to improve the livelihoods of 20,500 youth by creating employment opportunities in the agriculture and renewable energy sectors in rural Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania. By the end of March 2016, 13,407 youth – 40% of whom are young women – have enrolled in the project, with 12,403 completing life, business and technical skills training. Of those who have completed training, 72% (8,945) have already transitioned into sustainable employment or started their own businesses.
“Young people engage in a broad variety of employment and enterprise opportunities and generally don’t rely on a single job or trade,” said Roy van der Drift, OYE Programme Manager at SNV. “We work to ensure that we address this reality, providing the skills young people need to thrive in the economy.”
This collaboration will expand the impact of OYE to a further 6,500 youth.
According to the World Bank, approximately 32% of Tanzania’s population is between the ages of 15 and 34. It is estimated that 13.4% of the total youth work force is unemployed. However, the most significant problem is “vulnerable employment”, which applies to unpaid family workers and self-employed workers. In Tanzania, vulnerable employment was estimated at 88 percent.
“This is an excellent opportunity to scale the OYE project and expand its impact,” said Alemayehu Konde Koira, Senior Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at the MasterCard Foundation. “We are excited to see increased collaboration between development partners on an innovative solution for youth employment that will benefit thousands of youth in rural Tanzania.”
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will contribute US$4.7 million over three years to expand the project in five regions of Dodoma, Manyara, Singida, Tabora, Shinyanga in rural Tanzania and reach an additional 6,500 economically disadvantaged, out-of-school youth.