On March 3, 2022, Amref Health Africa and its consortium of partners has announced the launch of a $60 million ‘Integrated Youth Activity’ – called ‘Kefeta’, an Amharic word that means ‘to elevate’ – that creates economic and social opportunities for millions of young people in Ethiopia. Through financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Kefeta aims to benefit at least two million young people from different walks of life in 18 urban cities, with a comprehensive approach to advancing youth’s economic, civic, and social development.

With youth between ages 15-29 accounting for 33.8% of the urban population and another 32.8% of the population below the age of 15, Ethiopia is poised for a significant youth bulge. Readying the youth ecosystem to accommodate this growth and leverage on the demographic dividend is of paramount importance for the country’s socio-economic and political transformation.

In alignment with the Government of Ethiopia’s priorities, Kefeta will support young people in the target cities to strengthen their voices and agency and become a positive force for development in their country. This initiative complements the Government’s efforts to meet young people’s needs and ensure they have the capacity and ambition to contribute to a peaceful and prosperous future for Ethiopia.

Speaking at the launch, Ethiopia Minister of Women and Social Affairs, Dr Ergoge Tesfaye said young people are not always job seekers; rather they are creators of their own jobs and entrepreneurs. They have their own solutions to the problems they face. Creating spaces for them to become self-reliant and contribute to their country’s development requires a multi-sectoral commitment and cooperation. She strongly hopes ‘Kefeta’ will live up to its name by creating economic and social opportunities for our youth and elevating them to become leaders now and the future of the country.

According to the media statement issued by the Embassy of the United States of America in Addis Ababa, the USAID’s Integrated Youth Activity would work at the grassroots level with youth-serving organizations, private-sector businesses, and civil society that help empower the young population and drive Ethiopia further toward peace, prosperity, and self-reliance.

Amref Health Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Githinji Gitahi, stated “Africa is facing the opportunity of a big demographic dividend from its young population. However, this dividend will only be realized if the young people are given hope through education, healthy lives, social and economic empowerment in order to achieve their full human capital potential. The design of the USAID’s Integrated Youth Activity is unique as it addresses these unmet needs of young people; its success will form a model for Africa to harness the continental demographic dividend.”

Over the next five years, Amref Health Africa and the consortium of local and international partners will implement this program in close partnership with the youth, relevant government sectors including the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Jobs and Skills, and city administrations. Youth will be Kefeta’s co-creators, implementers, decision-makers, and leaders.

About Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia

Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa-based International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) currently running programs in over 35 countries across the continent. Over the last 65 years, Amref Health Africa has worked closely with governments, communities, and other local and international partners to increase sustainable health access. Amref Health Africa also has offices in Europe and North America as well as several subsidiaries: Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Health Innovations, and Amref International University. Since 2002, Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia has partnered with the Government of Ethiopia and local communities to implement diverse health and development project portfolios throughout the country.

www.amref.org/ethiopia/

Source Credit: Amref Health Africa Press Release

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