Addis Ababa – Today, the BRIDGES program signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Trade and Industry that will open up significant job opportunities for young people in Ethiopia.
The collaboration will focus on improving the competitiveness of the industrial sector to attract skilled workers and provide support to existing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The parties agreed to cooperate, share information and resources, and enter into necessary and specific agreements to achieve the objectives of the initiative. The BRIDGES program, which is part of the Young Africa Works in Ethiopia strategy of the Mastercard Foundation, is implemented in partnership with First Consult.
This effort is expected to facilitate the increase in local manufacturing and create national links between MSMEs and large manufacturing companies in the country. This will lead to greater competitiveness for Ethiopian MSMEs, as well as the development of sustainable business links between large enterprises and MSMEs.
These linkages will increase their market share, income, sustainable supply of inputs and contribute to the country’s efforts to substitute local production for imports, which will translate into job opportunities for young people.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is responsible for formulating policies that ensure sustained development and competitiveness in trade and industry. They do this by creating a system for increased private sector participation; promote the expansion of domestic trade; take appropriate measures to maintain lawful business practices; design policies and strategies; and help accelerate industrial development.
âThe agreement aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises and create employment opportunities for university graduates and unskilled job seekers. As a platform for cooperation and industrialization, it should contribute to the growth of the country’s manufacturing sector, âsaid Addisu Biazen, Technical Assistant to the Advisor to the Minister of State – Agro-Industry and Pharmaceutical Sector, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and First Consult’s BRIDGES program will create local ownership and governance structures to support local links, as well as coordinate and facilitate BRIDGES ‘public-private partnership (PPP) with relevant organizations to support industries and MSMEs. It will also organize and cover the costs related to introductory workshops, entrepreneurship and life skills training for young graduates and will facilitate the granting of credit or access to finance (A2F) on conditions favorable from partner financial institutions. It will also coordinate a national school shoe and bag manufacturing project, which will engage SMEs and establish studies and policy discussions focused on improving local added value and import substitution.
âThis partnership will enable Ethiopian youth and MSMEs to benefit from the growing manufacturing industry in the country through skills development and business relationships,â said Michael Addisu, BRIDGES program team leader.
âCreating opportunities for millions of young people is a gigantic task that requires all stakeholders to work together in a transparent and collaborative manner, which is the spirit of this new agreement. We look forward to supporting the efforts of First Consult and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and making a tangible impact for millions of young Ethiopians, âsaid Alemayehu Konde Koira, Ethiopia Country Manager, Mastercard Foundation.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world whose mission is to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was established by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own board of directors and management.
For more information about the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Reason)
The Ministry of Trade and Industry was established in 2018 by Proclamation No.1097 / 2018 with the aim of being a key economic policy organization to accelerate Ethiopia’s industrialization process and ensure the existence of fair, transparent and modern business activities. The main objectives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry are to improve the transparency and fairness of the institutional and organizational framework for commercial operations. In addition, the ministry is working to increase international trade and improve national marketing systems by strengthening consumer cooperatives and promoting access to viable business opportunities.
About First Consult
First Consult is a leading Ethiopian institution specializing in economic development in Ethiopia. With a focus on the private sector, financial sector and human capital development since 2005, First Consult has built and worked with over 500 partnerships that span the private sector, government and the development community. By supporting and mobilizing strong local institutions with highly skilled individuals, the institution strives to solve the most critical development challenges of our time. The focus on youth development and the economic empowerment of women is at the heart of First Consult’s mission, which is to achieve inclusive and sustainable development that benefits all.
About the BRIDGES program
The BRIDGES program is a five-year initiative, which aims to create employment opportunities for young women and men by unleashing the job creation potential of industrial parks (IP), other anchor companies (AE ) and their surrounding ecosystem, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Through this program, BRIDGES works to support the creation of nearly 600,000 jobs for young people (80% women) and 15,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). BRIDGES strives to capitalize and extend its previous experiences and key lessons within the industrial sector with a view to creating direct links with employment, as well as establishing lasting market links between EAs and MSMEs. . The BRIDGES program is made up of four areas of intervention: links with employment, business development, business competitiveness and access to finance.
For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Paulos Berga Bedhassa, Agro-Industry and Pharmaceuticals Sector – Advisor to the Minister of State
Telephone: +251 11 551 9461
Email: [email protected]
Simret Yasabu, program communications manager
Telephone: +251 975 048876
Email: [email protected]
Etalem Engeda, BRIDGES Program – Business Development Manager
Telephone: +251 114 401 473
Email: [email protected]