Refine existing policies to boost youth employment in Ethiopia says local research team

January 27, 2024 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference to share their findings on how to overcome the main obstacles that limit the success of Ethiopia’s youth employment policies.

January 27, 2024 – A team of local PEP researchers organised a national policy conference to share their findings on the obstacles that limit the effectiveness and impact of Ethiopia’s youth employment policies and programmes (YEPs).

The project team brought together more than 45 policymakers and stakeholders for a discussion on how ongoing policies can be improved to increase youth employment, in recognition of its importance for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Key policy stakeholders in attendance included representatives of the House of Peoples' Representatives and five government ministries. The ministries were those of Labor and Skills (MoLS), of Planning and Development (MoPD), of Agriculture, of Health, and of Women and Social Affairs (MoWSA). The Bureau Head of the MoWSA Youth Affairs Bureau and a UNICEF Evaluation Specialist also attended, along with academics and representatives of research and community organisations.

Team members Dr Tsega Gebrekristos and Dr Zerihun Berhane presented the findings and recommendations from their PEP project: An Empirical Review of Youth Employment Policies in Ethiopia.

They shared how existing employment policies are falling short for youth due to a variety of factors including capacity gaps and a lack of clear targets, implementation strategies and inclusiveness, as well as weak cooperation between sectors and institutions. They highlighted how limited youth consultation for policy formulation and the duplication of activities have hindered youth employment outcomes in the country.

The presenters shared their team’s recommendations, calling for a specific and inclusive youth employment policy that will address the needs of women, people with disabilities, and refugees and internally displaced people. They also underlined the importance of regular and robust data recording, monitoring and evaluation to ensure improvement over time.

A lively question and answer session followed the presentation (pictured below). During this, many of the attendees expressed that the team’s work provides an opportunity for the government to refine and recalibrate its employment strategies to better serve youth.

The Chief Executive Officer for Policy, Strategy and Research in the MoWSA stated that her institution is interested in collaborating to solve the severe problem of youth unemployment by adopting effective policies and strategies.

The research team hopes that their findings will act as a catalyst to improve policy design, implementation and evaluation. The team stated that they convinced representatives from MoWSA and MoLS that the results of this study are useful for shaping policies aiming to improve and boost youth employment.

Journalists from African Renaissance Television Services (“Arts TV”, a free-to-air Amharic-language national television channel) and Sheger FM Radio (report in Amharic) reported from the event, underlining the public interest in boosting youth employment.


The research team organised the event with financial and advisory support from PEP. The research project was carried out as part of the What Works for Youth Employment in Africa initiative, supported by PEP in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Conference participants during the Q&A


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