Young welder in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Youth employment in Ethiopia

The Big Win

Ethiopia is experiencing significant demographic pressure as every year more than 2 million youth enter the labor market, leading to a projected rise in the labor force of more than 30% between 2019 and 2030. More than 17 million people in total will enter the labor market during this period, and ensuring they have access to quality jobs is crucial to the economic growth and development of the country.

Cognizant of the critical challenges and opportunities in absorbing such a large potential workforce into quality employment, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed requested Big Win Philanthropy to partner with his government in identifying the key sectors which have potential to translate into meaningful job creation opportunities and supporting strategic economic investments in these areas. The effort aims to create 1 million sustainable jobs that appropriately use young people’s training and provide a livable wage, while also addressing development priorities.

2 million+ Ethiopian youth enter the labor market every year
30% projected rise in the labor force between 2019-2030

The Ethiopia-Big Win Partnership

Big Win will support leaders to be more strategic in targeting investment in industries with potential to create large numbers of quality job opportunities that also provide double wins by aligning with development priorities, such as power generation and access to food with better nutritional value. Once these areas are selected, Big Win will support the government in developing the respective investment and implementation plans.

Big Win’s Support

Big Win is currently teaming with the relevant federal government leaders, as well as with the regional governments of Oromia and Amhara, and the city administration of Addis Ababa to develop its remit.

At the federal level, Big Win will work with the newly-established Job Creation Commission under the office of the Prime Minister. The commission is mandated to govern, monitor, and coordinate all governmental and non-governmental efforts in creating jobs. Big Win’s collaboration with the commission will focus on identifying interventions on the supply and demand side, as well as on linkages to bridge the gap and tackle the market failures in the labor market. The partnership will prioritize an effort targeting unemployed university graduates. It will include a range of interventions designed to reduce the skills mismatch in the labor market, including retooling of graduates, developing a labor market information system, and facilitating the work of the private sector in creating quality jobs.

At the regional level, Big Win will work with the regional presidents and the Mayor of Addis Ababa to assess the relative viability for investing in various flagship projects identified by the regional authorities. After honing in on the most worthwhile initiatives, Big Win will support a process to mobilize the relevant stakeholders to translate this aspiration into a concrete investment strategy.