To engage youth in agriculture,the Mastercard Foundation and SNV are partners in facilitating access to secure jobs, financial services and skills for young people to grow their own businesses.

The Opportunities for Youth Employment programme (OYE) aims to increase youth employment and income by building their skills and capacity and linking youth to market opportunities in growth sectors that have potential for job creation. OYE focuses on market opportunities and market skills demands. Subsequent steps such as skills development, on-the-job training and coaching towards employment or self-employment are done in close collaboration with private sector companies. The program recognizes that young people are not a homogeneous group and hence interventions are designed to suit young people’s unique needs, their local context and the markets within their reach.

In this five-year project, OYE aims to reach out to 20,500 rural out-of-school youth in Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique, providing them with appropriate skills and transitioning them into job and self-employment opportunities. During its first year, OYE has enrolled roughly 3,000 rural youth, 28 percent of whom are young women. Of this total, the vast majority have completed the basic technical, business and life skills training with high levels of motivation and employability.

An increasing number of private sector companies are interested in this model. Whereas OYE provides youth with soft skills that serve and stimulate their interests and ambitions, more private sector companies provide on-the-job training to youth. In Tanzania and Mozambique, we are linking agribusinesses, including producers, buyers and processors, to rural youths who have the ambition to engage with these companies. During the past year, SNV reached agreements with more than five private businesses to take part in the OYE program as potential employers and mentors.

Read the full article as written by Alemayehu Konde Koira (The MasterCard Foundation) and Roy van der Drift (SNV) - as published on