United Nations Joint Programme on Youth Employment, Tanzania

Developing an integrated strategy towards addressing the youth employment challenge in Tanzania

ILO implements a joint program on youth employment in collaboration with other UN sister agencies namely, FAO, UN Women and UNIDO to address youth employment challenges that are manifested in the form of unemployment, underemployment, poor working conditions and lack of an integrated approach. In addressing these challenges, this joint programme is targeted at enhancing access to financial services for youth and to increase the number of young women and men in productive self and/or wage employment.

Brief background

Youth employment remains a major challenge, both at global and national level. In Tanzania youth unemployment stands at 11.5 per cent. This is in spite of the high rates of economic growth in the past decade averaging 7 per cent. Unfortunately, the rapid gains in economic growth and education have not translated into productive and decent employment significant enough in alleviating poverty.

The UN under the leadership of the ILO is supporting national efforts in promoting youth employment in view of creating wealth and empowering the youth. Taking advantage of its ‘Delivering as One’ (DaO) agenda, the UN is maximizing its normative and analytical expertise, its operational and coordination capabilities, and its advocacy role by promoting a human rights based approach to programming and the delivery of results, attending to both process and outcomes. In this sense, the UN aims to become an effective partner in ensuring that growth and the reduction of poverty is achieved in ways that promote equity, non-discrimination, participation, and accountability. The UN agencies implementing the Programme – ILO, FAO, UNIDO and UN Women - have multi-disciplinary experience and can draw on a repository of global knowledge and expertise.


The Joint Programme is designed to develop an integrated strategy towards addressing the youth employment challenge in Tanzania which manifests itself in the form of unemployment, underemployment, poor employment conditions, decent work deficits and lack of an integrated approach. Towards this end, the joint programme focuses on five high impact priority areas, namely sustainable enterprise development, decent work for youth, enhancing agriculture productivity, skills development and building labour market information systems.
An important and unique value of the UN joint programme on youth employment is the number and diversified strengths of the participating UN agencies allowing a broad but integrated approach to the youth employment challenge.
Main activities/Implementation strategy

Promoting sustainable enterprise development
  1. Value-added chains from agriculture production, through crop processing and packaging, to the retail of final products to be strengthened/developed.
  2. Business Development Services support to scale up and promote innovation in existing youth
  3. Young women in cross border trade to be supported with access to information on the regulations and procedures of cross border trade
  4. Capacity for selected women leaders in Zanzibar on entrepreneurship and livelihoods to be able to increase quality products, income and market accessibility to be developed.
  5. Opportunities for disadvantaged young women to gain knowledge and develop skills in business development, access to justice processes including legal aid, and leadership skills to be improved
  6. Access to financial services for youth to be enhanced
  7. To increase youth employment in sustainable creative industries
  8. Assisting informal businesses to graduate into formal enterprises

Decent work for youth

1.Gender sensitive economic activities started by people living with or affected by HIV started to reduce their vulnerability
2. Work in selected enterprises owned or led by young women and men, including Occupational safety and health, is improved (WISE Methodology)
3. Work Improvement in Neighbourhood Development (WIND Methodology)
4. Design dialogue platform for young trade unionists

Enhancing agriculture productivity

  1. Establish and strengthen Rural Youth Employment Model (Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools anchored in Private Public Partnership).
  2. Promote small-scale irrigation schemes, for increasing agriculture productivity and decent rural employment.
  3. Promote diversified agricultural activities such as, fish farming, livestock production, forestry products, and off-farm services for youth employment.
  4. Improve quality and standards (grading, packaging ) by producers’ organizations, cooperatives and agricultural service centres.
  5. Increasing youth producers formally registering groups for better access to inputs (land, financial and technical).

Skills development and building labour market information systems

  1. Create linkages between LMIS and TEVT and VETA institutions and employers established, to make training more responsive to the workplace skills demand.
  2. Implement informal apprenticeship at VETA and Folk Development Colleges
  3. Create linkages between businesses and universities (support career centres)
  4. Strengthen institutional capacities of local BDS supporting youth entrepreneurship initiatives

Building labour market information systems

  1. Data analysis of the Integrated Labour Force Survey (ILFS) 2013/14 and ASIPs to inform policy formulation and monitoring of youth employment programmes to be undertaken
  2. Linking labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Local Government Authority (LGA) data base
  3. To offer support to Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE) in coordination and monitoring of the National Youth Employment Creation Programme.

Outcomes/Expected Deliverables

  • Increased number of young women and men in productive self and/or wage employment
  • Working conditions of young women and men in self and/or wage employment in the informal sector is improved
  • Productivity of young women and men in agricultural sector is increased
  • Increased employability of young women and men in both rural and urban areas
  • National Youth Employment Creation Programme developed with a coordinating mechanism