Ethiopia’s Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) and Mastercard Foundation have partnered to create 42,000 direct jobs for vulnerable groups in the country.
Through a three-year Tila project, JCC aims to reduce inequality by developing a comprehensive employment package for women in rural Ethiopia, internally displaced persons, refugees, homeless youths, and people with disabilities.
Nearly 7.8 million people in Ethiopia are estimated to live with some form of disability, or 9.3 percent of the country’s total population, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Also, JCC noted in a report that although labour market outcomes in Ethiopia have been slightly improving, especially in urban areas, several population groups face structural challenges in entering the labour market and to fully developing their economic potential.
It is understood that women and youths, in particular, face structural challenges when transitioning to work and tend to suffer from a systemic and persistent gap in accessing the labour market when compared to males and adults.
‘One of the pillars of our Ten Years Plan of Action for Job Creation is creating a labour market that is inclusive and conducive for all segments of the society’, JCC’s Communications and Public Relations Advisor, Tewedaj Eshetu, told Development Diaries.
‘Even Though Ethiopia has not done a national census yet, approximately eight million people are expected to live with disabilities, returnees are coming back from the Middle East in large numbers, we have a growing rate of people living on the streets and internally displaced citizens.
‘In addition, our annual plans indicate that the opportunities to be created would be 50–50 percent between male and female. On the contrary, the reports show 65–35 percent (male to female).
‘Hence, it was mandatory to address the needs of job opportunities of these segments of society. With this in mind, and the financial support of Mastercard Foundation, Tila project was designed under the Enabling Ethiopia Programme’.
The Tila – which literally means ‘umbrella’ in Amharic – project will be implemented by five civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and private sector actors.
The pilot phase of the project will be implemented by Kidame Mart, Beza Posterity Development Organisation (BPDO), Association for Women’s Sanctuary Development (AWSAD), Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD), and Cheshire Foundation Action for Inclusion (CFAI) with a $7.2 million (288 million birr) grant.
In the first year, Tila, according to a joint statement from the development partners (JCC and Mastercard Commission) will target 19,000 women in rural Ethiopia; 5,000 internally displaced people and refugees; 2,000 homeless youths; and 5,000 youths with disabilities in five regions.
The development partners further said that 11,000 more women in rural Ethiopia will be included by year two and three to address 42,000 people in the three implementation years.
‘This will be followed by prototyping, testing, and scaling up of innovative approaches nationwide’, the statement added.