Ethiopia has officially joined in Mastercard Foundation’s effort to help create 30 million needed jobs across seven African nations, 10 million in Ethiopia within 2030. An effort of its Young Africa Works Initiative, it is geared in supporting local entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses as a hub for its job creation plan.
The plan was unveiled at the first National Jobs Summit, which was held on Thursday at Sheraton Addis.
“We started off in Ethiopia in 2010. Our initial work was trying to make financial inclusion a reality in the rural parts of the nation as well as to the young people,” Reeta Roy, the President and CEO of the Toronto, Canada based Mastercard Foundation told The Reporter. “One of the reasons we are here is because of the policy and the work of JCC (Jobs Creation Commission). We are excited with the economic growth of the nation.”
With a financial asset valued at over USD 30 billion, Mastercard has been investing in the African market for the last decade, starting with its educational and financial inclusion effort worth USD 2.3 billion. With a motto of, ‘a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and to prosper’, the Foundation estimates to have helped 33.8 million people within the continent.
“We have to note and recognize, governments are not in the business of creating jobs. However, it can invest and create the environment for private entrepreneurs to create good and sustainable and needed jobs”, Ephrem T. Lemango, the Commissioner of JCC told a jobs creation summit inside Sheraton Addis on Thursday, inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen.
“We are aware of the limitation of information for job seekers. We have started using our websites/new ways to connect/distribute handy and practical info. We are also partaking in the creation of 10 million jobs by 2030 with Mastercard Foundation,” he added.
The new effort would be geared towards the nations agriculture sector and more specifically in helping expand and strengthen its agri-food system, its manufacturing sector, which is helping fulfill its ambition of becoming a manufacturing hub within the region as it aims to become a middle income nation within a decade, the tourism sector which despite little infrastructure brings in much needed forex to the government’s coffers, and its ICT Sector and its Digital Economy, as it moves towards a digitization society.
The job creation plan would work towards benefiting 70 percent women and girls, who are believed to be neglected in receiving support in attaining their potential.
“We (Mastercard Foundation) are a performance focused and result based organization. We are a real time dynamic organization and always look for opportunities and look at them as they become available,” Reeta added.