ILO and Government of Ethiopia to launch a new project on job creation in the agro-processing sector

News | 27 November 2020
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement a new project entitled “ProAgro Ethiopia – Promotion of Decent Work in Agribusiness” is signed between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Represented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) on 27 November 2020 at Sheraton Addis.

Designed under the framework of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, ProAgro project will be implemented in Amhara and SNNPR regions in Ethiopia over a period of 42 months with an operating budget of five million EUR. The sectors of food and vegetables, edible oils and poultry have been identified as having huge potential to undertake deeper and focussed work around job creation, working standards and social dialogue. Based on these identified sectors the regions were also identified in consensus with the Government of Ethiopia and other stakeholders.

The MoU is signed by Alexio Musindo, Director of the ILO Country Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and Representative to the AU and the ECA, H.E. ErgogieTesfaye (PhD) Minister, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and H.E. Melaku Alebel Minister, Minister of Trade and Industry, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ms. Laura Schmid, Head of Cooperation, German Embassy, in Ethiopia witnessed the signing ceremony.

H.E. Melaku stated, agriculture has an untapped potential to transfer Ethiopia’s economy. So far, Ethiopia has been exporting raw agricultural products without adding value to the products. This has negatively affected the sector’s potential to create job and get a better export earnings. Agro processing is vital to improve the livelihood of those involved in the sector. He added “We are working towards integrated agro industry park with the aim of integrating demand and supply for various agricultural products.”

H.E. Ergogie (PhD) stated, “The Government of Ethiopia is taking a series of measures which are aimed towards reducing unemployment and improving productivity. To this end, the agricultural sector has been give an emphasis, especially focusing on agro business, believing that it would highly support to absolve the existing labour force.” She also underlined the need to collaborate among line ministries and other stakeholders to press forward for the successful implementation of this project.

The project aims to create decent job opportunities for women and men in the agribusiness sector focusing on building the capacity of national, regional, and local stakeholders to develop and implement policies aimed at boosting the job creation potential of the agribusiness sector. It will also contributes to addressing challenges related to widespread poverty and informal employment and poor working conditions through strategic integrated interventions, combining both short-term and long-term measures, labour demand and supply side approaches, with a focus on key value chains in the agribusiness sector in Ethiopia.