The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected the Education Development Center (EDC) to lead a $24.5 million, five-year workforce development program in the Republic of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. EDC will work with partners Cardno Emerging Markets, Souktel, and TIG to reduce unemployment in Djibouti, which is estimated at nearly 60 percent.
The consortium will focus on preparing youth with skills and training based on the needs of local businesses and industries. The project’s goal is to reach between 30,000 and 40,000 young adults with job training, work-based learning opportunities, and employment center services.
Key areas of focus include strengthening the links between technical and vocational education and training (TVET) providers and private sector businesses by improving communication and collaboration, updating education and training curricula–and providing work-based learning, counseling, and job placement.
“We are thankful to USAID and excited to apply our long experience in workforce development to this new initiative,” said EDC’s Erik Butler. “Having worked in the region for many years on preparing youth for productive livelihoods, we are enormously pleased to expand our efforts to Djibouti.”
The project will include development of an online platform which will establish referral networks, serve as a clearing house of employment information, facilitate counseling, job-matching, and referrals, and provide a space for youth to create employee profiles to match with private sector jobs.
“We’re honored to support EDC on this crucial project,” added Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum. “Building digital employability platforms has been a key focus of our work for close to a decade. We’re excited to draw on our past partnerships with EDC across East Africa—from Rwanda to Somali communities—and launch new solutions that help youth get better access to work and training.”