Home » Ethiopia's FDRE Ministry of Labor and Skills hosts 2022 Agro-Businesses Ideas Competition (ABIC) in Collaboration with German Cooperation and the Mastercard Foundation – AllAfrica – Top Africa News

Ethiopia's FDRE Ministry of Labor and Skills hosts 2022 Agro-Businesses Ideas Competition (ABIC) in Collaboration with German Cooperation and the Mastercard Foundation – AllAfrica – Top Africa News

by Arifa Rana

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s FDRE Ministry of Labor and Skills co- hosted the first National Agro-Business Ideas Competition (ABIC 2022) in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Mastercard Foundation.
The event saw 17 start-ups, led by 34 young graduates, pitch for a chance to be one of five enterprises receiving ETB 230,000 to scale their businesses. The 34 entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of 200 applicants, consisting of young recent graduates from the Adama, Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, and Hawassa universities. Prior to the competition, each start-up received training, was incubated for up to a year, and the founders received a range of support and mentorship while preparing for their pitch presentations.
Presiding over the event were H.E. Nigusu Tilahun State Minister from the Ministry of Labor and Skills, alongside Mr. Dominique Davoux of the Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia, and Mr. Lars Fiechel, Programme Manager from the German Cooperation’s Sustainable Training and Education Programme.
The ABIC 2022 initiative is being implemented as part of the project “Enhancing the skills of youth and women in the catchments of the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIPs) of Ethiopia” and is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU) under the ‘Ethio-German Sustainable Training and Education Programme’ (STEP)’ and the ‘Promotion of Sustainable Ethiopian Agro-Industrial Development (PROSEAD)’ Programme.
Realizing the need to reinforce the agro-industrial sector and support Ethiopia’s transition to a more industrial economy, ABIC 2022 brings different partners together to enable entrepreneurs to solve the challenges of the agro-industrial sector.
The National Agro-Business Ideas Competition is a comprehensive self-employment promotion initiative that supports the agro-industrial sector with innovations and need-based solutions.
The competition will converge the potential of the graduate entrepreneurs with opportunities in the agro-industrial sector. The goal is to shift the mindset of young people towards self-
employment and innovation to help reduce unemployment rates in the country – a priority of the Government of Ethiopia. Also, a platform to share experiences and expertise will be created and supported by well-established entrepreneurs in the agro-industrial sector to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by young Ethiopians.
“For a country filled with young talented minds, these types of entrepreneurial initiatives will unleash the immense potential of youth that aspire to solve challenges near and far through fresh and innovative business ideas,” said Mr. Lars Fiechel, Programme Manager, GIZ.
“This initiative represents an important platform for exchange and learning, and it will illustrate the potential of young women and men to build viable businesses that address urgent societal challenges in a meaningful way. In this case, it’s clear that young people are ready to drive the agro industry—and I hope universities will continue to cultivate this talent so that future graduates can follow the example of these entrepreneurs and create work opportunities in this promising sector,” commented Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head, Ethiopia, Mastercard Foundation.
“Millions of young people join the work force each year. Creating jobs for young people and motivating them in various ways is very important for the economy, politics, and social activity and because of that, government has often taken on the role of supporting various institutions to coordinate youth skill and employment issues. Working on solving agro-industry challenges is valuable to Ethiopia,” said H.E. Nigusu Tilahun, the state minister from the Ministry of Labor and Skills.
“For the candidates participating in today’s competition, I would like to convey to you that your work presented here is already a clear indication of your endeavours and your potential. Whatever the outcome will be, it is worth considering that your business idea is already valued, and this should serve as an incentive for you to develop more innovations, because Ethiopia needs such competitive, innovative, and committed young entrepreneurs like you,” said Mr. Teriessa Jalleta from the Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia.
About German development cooperation
The German development cooperation has been supporting Ethiopian Government initiatives for over 50 years. We work together with our partners in support of their socio-economic reform agenda aimed at reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and creating jobs. Our work
contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and is implemented in line with the Ethiopian-German cooperation agreements. GIZ works on behalf of the German Government mainly in three priority areas: sustainable economic development and vocational education, food security and agriculture, and conservation and sustainable use of natural resources (biodiversity).
Project Background
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with co-funding by the European Union (EU), has commissioned GIZ to reach the specific objective to “enh ance the skills of youth and women in catchments of the IAIPs of Ethiopia” under the larger Ethio – German Sustainable Training and Education Programme (STEP) and as part of the joint EU action for the “Promotion of Sustainable Ethiopian Agro -industrial Deve lopment” (PROSEAD) under the Component 4.
PROSEAD aims to increase decent employment and incomes for rural Ethiopians, particularly youth and women, in four environmentally sustainable Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIPs) and their agricultural production zones (catchment areas). The theory of change of PROSEAD assumes that assisting Ethiopia’s transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial one via the development of the IAIPs, will lead to the expansion of broad-based financial possibilities and decent employment for rural Ethiopians, particularly youth and women.
The objective of Component 4 of PROSEAD is therefore in line with STEP ‘s objective of enabling graduates of vocational institutions and universities to increasingly find employment opportunities in the growth sectors of the Ethiopian economy.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management.
For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About the Ministry of Labor and Skills
The Ministry of Labor and Skills works to create a conducive environment for youth. To this end, the newly reorganized institutions are working to fulfill their responsibilities of enabling competent young people to use their potential to improve their employment opportunities, by mobilizing private investors and partnering with various international organizations. Through this significant initiative, the Ministry of Agriculture is leading the sector in creating more jobs across Ethiopia.
Press contact:
For further information or press inquiries, please contact:
PR & Communications Unit, Ministry of Labor and Skills
Email : azeb.taddese@jobscommission.gov.et
Phone : +251 9 11 92 9054
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