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The reports also address untapped youth employment opportunities and the reasons as to why they remain untapped in rural areas. We conducted key informant interviews and collected primary data from 626 respondents living in rural areas of the two most populous regions in Ethiopia. Two-third of the respondents were beneficiaries of government youth employment initiates while the rest of them were the youth registered as unemployed. The beneficiaries were primarily selected from the Youth Revolving Fund program, a government youth employment creation initiative that provides fund and capacity building trainings for the youth to create self-employed jobs. The results show that 54% of the non-beneficiary youth never had jobs. Around 85% of female and 97% of male beneficiary respondents received fund and established self-employment businesses using the fund. They earned income that was higher than the average salary in many industries in Ethiopia. Youth working alone received more than double per capita fund than the per capita fund that the youth working in groups received. Respondents noted that it took them, on average, around five months to receive the fund after they submitted their application for the fund. Regarding untapped and under-tapped employment opportunities, around 64% of the youth identified at least one untapped opportunity for employment, and cited credit inaccessibility, unfavorable government regulations, lack of skilled labor and lack of complementary investments as the main factors for the untapped opportunities to remain untapped. Containing these problems could boost rural youth employment and reduces the excess rural to urban migration.

Published as FARA Research Report Volume 5 No: 3 (2020).