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DKT Ethiopia held its third annual Young Marketers (YM) training that lasted for three days on Wednesday July 18, 2012 in Bishoftu. Young Marketer is an initiative by DKT that started in May 2007. The initiative uses youth clubs to sell condoms and other health products. DKT sells products to participating youth clubs who then resells them on a commission basis in their communities. The YM clubs regularly account for 25pc of DKT’s condom sales.
The training included experience sharing by DKT sales persons hired from Young Marketers, training on work ethics and entrepreneurship.
There are 186 youth clubs in 150 cities in Ethiopia of which 280 are men and 212 are women. Three members from each group attended the training. DKT plans to raise the 186 youth clubs to 200 by the year 2013.
“The young marketers’ initiative is a really convenient way to distribute condoms to people, it is also a good income generator for those who participate in the young marketers,” stated Andrew Piller, Director of DKT Ethiopia.
DKT has secured around USD 40 million in funding from Dutch and Irish Aid as well as the British Development Aid. “Most of the funds will be going to the Young Marketers initiative. We are also planning to give the opportunity to a few people from the different clubs to go to Thailand to see the condom factory,” stated Andrew.
DKT also provides education and job opportunities for the YM’s. “It is a really a great opportunity for us; we are able to provide for ourselves and our family through the income we get by distributing the condoms, and we are also working on educating people on how to protect themselves from HIV,” stated one Young Marketing trainee.
Since the Young Marketers started around 75.1 million condoms have been sold and the distributers have managed to get over 4.5 million birr in profit. This year DKT is planning to sell 22 million condoms.
“It is very difficult to get products around the country, 10 pc of outlets don’t want to distribute condoms for religious reasons. Currently we are using only 40pc of outlets; we are working on increasing that number,” the director added.
In 2011, DKT Ethiopia sold 80 million condoms, 3.2 million cycles of oral contraceptives, and 1.3 million injectable contraceptives. In addition, DKT sold over 236,000 medical abortion pills.