Youth Employment Project for Somalia

■Sector

: Employment promotion for youth

■Type of technical service

: Technical Cooperation

■Duration

: February 2018 - December 2021


1st Joint Coordinating Committee meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

Background

After a long period of civil war since 1991, Somalia established the federal government in 2012, and since then the country has been working hard for its peacebuilding and nation building with support from international community. In 2017, the presidential election was held and the federal government was newly formed. However, there still remain a number of internal challenges such as security improvement, infrastructure development and provision of social services, and job creation for youth is among such key issues. In particular, about 70 percent of the population is youth under the age of 30. Some of them without employment opportunities take part in piracy or terrorism to earn their living, which has been recognized as one of serious social problems in Somalia.

 

In 2014, the then-President of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) visited Japan and requested the Government of Japan (GoJ) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to support employment promotion for youth in Somalia. Based on this request, JICA conducted “Youth Employment Baseline Study (YEBS) for Somalia” from 2015 to 2017 in order to confirm the current employment status and identify major industries in Somalia by literature review, and implemented pilot trainings in selected sectors. With findings and outcomes from the study, FGS officially requested GoJ in March 2017 for a technical cooperation to promote youth employment. When the request was accepted by GoJ, JICA carried out the detailed design study for technical cooperation and finally agreed with relevant Ministries of FGS in May 2017 on comprehensive technical assistance for industrial promotion in Somalia, including support for entrepreneurs who are expected to contribute to promoting youth employment.

 


Basic Principles

Visit to Tanzania in preparation for the training of trainers (ToTs) on fisheries

Aiming at improving environment surrounding youth employment and entrepreneurship, the Project has three basic principles as below.

 

“Development of sector development plans integrated with human resource development plans for the potential industries”

In order to expand employment opportunities for youth, it is important to revitalize industries as a whole, by not only supporting labor supply (= human resources to be employed) but also providing measures to increase demand side of labor market (= companies to employ). For this purpose, the Project (1) identifies industries potentially contribute to the national economic growth and job creation / entrepreneurship for youth, and (2) supports formulation of sector development plans for the selected industries, including human resource development aspect.

 

“Development of industrial human resources including the youth for the selected industries”

The youth in search for employment need to be equipped with skills to meet the needs of industries and companies. However, opportunities for education and training to learn such skills are limited in Somalia. It is due to the prolonged civil war which impeded development of technical vocational education and training (TVET), and shortage of human resources that provide technical trainings (e.g. private companies, vocational schools, cooperative associations, etc.). To address this issue, the Project provides training of trainers (ToT) for TVETs and other technical training institutes so that the ToT participants are able to teach youth and disseminate skills they learned.

 

“Capacity development for start-ups and existing companies in Somalia as suppliers of employment opportunities”

Technical trainings as above would not contribute by themselves to increase employment opportunities, without demand for human resources by private companies. Therefore, enabling environment should be in place to promote entrepreneurs and private companies for future job creation. In this regard, the Project provides capacity development support to entrepreneurs and existing companies.

 


Main Activities

The Project is currently being operated remotely from neighboring countries of Somalia, since the Project team cannot enter into the country due to its unstable security situation. In spite of such challenges and difficulties, we make all kinds of efforts to maximize outputs of the Project.

 

Firstly, the Project developed systems to facilitate communication and coordination with Somali counterparts even from remote. For example, the Project invites Somali counterparts to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, with support from JICA Kenya office, for face-to-face meetings to build consensus on key issues of the Project at appropriate timings. We also use e-mail and Skype for a daily communication to confirm the progress of activities and exchange relevant information in different locations such as Somalia, Kenya, and Japan.

 

For fisheries sector, the Project is engaged in such activities as a training of trainers for capacity development of the trainers and a study tour for formulation of sector development plan. The Project is also working on a capacity development program for start-ups and existing companies. To ensure outcomes from these activities, it is necessary to closely coordinate and collaborate with the partners who are working on the ground so that effective follow-ups and support are made after conducting activities. For the same purpose, JICA in collaboration with International Organization for Migration (IOM) dispatched Somali advisors to the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Project is also engaged in active information exchange with other development partners operating in Somalia, trying to come up with follow-up measures within Somalia and means and timing of monitoring and evaluation of the progress and outputs of the project activities.

 

(as of May 2019)

 

     

Session for the overview of the project at the Joint Coordinating Committee meeting

Workshop on entrepreneurship support

Group discussion of the problem analysis in fisheries sector


 

A Message from the Consultant in-charge

Etsuko OSUMI

Consultant

We face various challenges to implement the Project since we have to support from outside of Somalia. However, building up relationships and mutual trust is critically important for any projects. I would like to make a cooperative relationship by piling up opportunities of communications as much as possible via the Internet and phone calls, and by responding sincerely to the Somali counterparts working under the unstable security conditions to overcome limited face-to-face opportunities.

 

When we want to understanding more about “unreachable” Somalia, we may tend to rely on the information from the Internet. However, our project team carefully listens to the opinions and ideas of Somali counterparts through the meetings and activities to reflect their voices on the Project. We continue to shed a light on the additional value which the activities operated outside Somalia can provide and carefully consider how to promote the use of the outputs of the Project in Somalia for the benefit of Somalia.