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Enterprise project tests rural youth employment plan

Twenty percent of the world’s youth live in Africa and the percentage is expected to increase substantially over the next few decades.

Despite recent economic growth, the continent has failed to effectively absorb the youth into its labour markets. This is true even in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda where enrolment in tertiary education has been increasing.

To try to disrupt the current labour market trends in these countries, TechnoServe implemented the first phase of the Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise (STRYDE) programme in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda from 2011 with funding from the Mastercard Foundation.

STRYDE is in its second phase with Tanzania included. It is a youth economic opportunities programme that helps young people in rural areas through training and ‘after-care’ services, and provides critical soft and technical skills, linkages and finance to harness opportunities, expand their enterprises and find employment.

TechnoServe commissioned evaluations of STRYDE I and II to understand their impact, learn from the implementation of both phases, and test the sustainability of their roll-out model.

The evaluation, carried out by Genesis Analytics, found that the programme had contributed to demystifying financial services, created linkages with market players and employers, stimulated economic activity, and improved community perceptions of the youth.

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