New $60mln Activity to Lift Up Vulnerable Youth

ADDIS ABABA – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday launched a new investment of $60 million to lift up millions of vulnerable youth across Ethiopia.

The activity named Kefeta, meaning ‘to elevate’ in Amharic, targets to help youth in 18 Ethiopian cities find meaningful jobs and expand their voice in the country’s civil discourse, according to the US embassy in Addis Ababa.

The five-years long activity aims to ensure that youth have better access to essential services—such as banking, family planning, and healthcare.

The launch event for the USAID Kefeta activity was held at Friendship Park in Addis Ababa.

At the event, several young Ethiopians took the stage to describe both their hopes for and in-depth involvement in designing the new American investment.

In attendance were government officials including Ergogie Tesfaye, Women and Social Affairs minister, and Tracey A. Jacobson, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador.

Youth across Ethiopia face a variety of social, political, and economic challenges.

Each young person without the promise of a well-paying job, a voice that is heard in their community, or access to a family doctor, hinders Ethiopia’s prosperity.

“To help youth achieve their own prosperous futures,” the Embassy says the USAID Kefeta activity “will work at the grassroots level with youth-serving organizations, private-sector businesses, and civil society”.

The activity will establish an innovative, youth-led and youth-managed ‘Empowerment Fund’ that is projected to grow to over $20 million by 2026, which will finance youth enterprise start-ups.

The activity will also support career centers in higher education institutions and community-based youth centers to reach over 700,000 youth with skills training, such as digital literacy and entrepreneurship training.

The two million youth targeted by the life-changing USAID Kefeta activity currently live across 17 secondary cities in semi-urban communities of Ethiopia and Addis Ababa.

Ultimately, empowering the country’s young population will help propel Ethiopia further forward toward peace, prosperity, and self-reliance.