Young people in Ethiopia tend to engage in low-paying, seasonal, and temporary contract work in the agricultural sector as a result of limited primary education. The private sector expects to create 5,500 jobs over the next five years , but educational requirements will eliminate these opportunities for many young people. Self-employment holds the promise of engaging more young people over the same period, providing that new enterprises are based on accurate assessment of markets to ensure the sustainability and scalability of their businesses.Youth in Action in Ethiopia is designed to meet the needs of youth between the ages of 14 and 18, by creating opportunities to access non-formal education, professional training and apprenticeships, as well as to develop entrepreneurial skills and access sources of credit to help turn opportunities into reality. Typically, rural youth have not been exposed to alternative means of livelihood generation, nor have they been able to adequately access market information. For female youth, these issues are exacerbated as household responsibilities often interfere with school enrollment and attendance.




  • 20% of Ethiopia’s population (94 million people) is between the ages of 15 and 24, of which 25% are unemployed.
  • Ethiopia is only cultivating 11.7 million hectares of land, leaving 51.3 million hectares uncultivated.
  • One million smallholder farmers account for about 95% of the agricultural GDP.


reach and impactpopulation2

Youth in Action’s plan is to reach 9,050 girls and boys in the rural communities of Giban, Guba Lafto, Habru, and Raya Kobo woredas (local government districts). As of March 2016, 4,674 youth have benefited from the program, including 2,007 girls and 2,667 boys. 2,912 among them chose their pathways.


Resources and Stories

Youth in Action Ethiopia Fact Sheet

Download the fact sheet for details on YiA in Ethiopia.

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From leaving home to setting up shop

Read Hana’s story.

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Read Fasigo’s story.

From shattered dreams to promising future.

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