On October 30, 2019, a joint press conference between the Jobs Creation Commission and the Mastercard Foundation was held in Radisson Blu Hotel, to announce the partnership agreement between the two entities, to launch the Young Africa Works initiative in Ethiopia.

The Young Africa Works in Ethiopia is an initiative that will enable 10 million young people to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030, with the initial commitment of USD 300 million from the Mastercard Foundation. It was designed in partnership with the government, the private sector, academic institutions, and young people and; is currently aligned with the Ethiopian government’s plan to create new jobs to spur economic growth.

In addition to the Jobs Creation Commission, the Foundation announced its first phase of implementing partners, including Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kifiya Financial Technology, First Consult PLC and DAI Europe, Dalberg Advisors, and SNV. The cumulative value of the first phase of partnerships is over USD 119 million and will see more than 1.4 million direct work opportunities contributing to Young Africa Works in Ethiopia’s goal of 10 million work opportunities by 2030.

During the press conference, Commissioner of the Jobs Creation Commission Dr. Ephrem T. Lemango stated “Ethiopia’s prosperity will be achieved when we individually achieve our full potential first. Creating jobs for all, particularly, youth and women, is about giving people hope, dignity and the means to build this prosperous future”.

Following Commissioner Dr. Ephrem’s remarks, Reeta Roy who is the President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation expressed “Through my travel across Ethiopia, I’m inspired by the creativity and dynamism of young entrepreneurs and how their innovations are bringing about meaningful change in their communities. Young Africa Works will support them by providing access to finance, business development support and skills development so they can further scale their businesses to create more jobs for young Ethiopians.”

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