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Govt rolls out 35 billion birr rural employment project

A recent study conducted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports indicates that 480,000 university and Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates in Ethiopia are still looking for jobs. Social and natural science graduates make up 80,000 of those unemployed.

There are also 3.5 million unemployed people who do not hold college degrees.

Recently the government approved a 10 billion birr revolving fund to create jobs for people who are unemployed throughout Ethiopia. A new draft written by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR) recommends a 35 billion birr budget annually for the next five years to alleviate rural unemployment.

The Rural Job Opportunity Creation Strategy draft which is being sent to the Council of Ministers for approval will utilize government assistance and development partners for this strategy.

The draft would require the establishment of a new government institution to handle job creation in both urban and rural areas. It also recommends alleviating duplication of efforts among the many government and non government organizations.

The major strategies in the draft include an employment fund market, and assisting entrepreneurs to create jobs and creating a conductive environment for people to supplement their income.

Melkau G/ Michael the strategic jobs advisor at MoANR told Capital that this plan will help graduates and others who are unemployed in rural areas to run their own businesses or obtain jobs in institutions.

“The strategy targets reducing the unemployment rate in rural areas and helping people generate more income. Due to mismanagement and previous policies and strategies many graduates and uneducated people are unemployed but there are many recourses for them to use to help them earn an income.” Melaku added that many farmers will also get additional income through this strategy.

‘’Farmers are busy when they planting and harvesting crops but during the offseason they don’t have jobs, we plan to help farmers earn extra money when they are not busy with their farmland,” he said.

According to draft strategy the 35 billion birr a year budget will be reduced after five years when private stakeholders will become more involved in the plan.