Scaling Up Youth Employment in Agriculture Initiative

In Zambia and Zimbabwe, due to a mismatch between the skills they have and those in demand, youth cannot access or create economic opportunities and overlook those available. The project builds skills and matches youth with firms, markets and finance to create more and better (self)-employment in agri-food, renewable energy and emerging sectors, contributing to Swiss priorities on human and economic development and climate change. This is a contribution implemented by SNV.

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Zambie et Zimbabwe
Emploi & développement économique
Formation professionelle
Agriculture et sécurité alimentaire
Création d'emplois
Formation professionnelle
Services agricoles & marché
01.05.2024 - 30.04.2028
CHF  4’600’000
Contexte Southern Africa has a youth demographic bulge at the backdrop of precarious employment opportunities and climate change challenges. Growth experienced in the region has not been pro-poor with women and youth faring worse. Gaps exist in the translation of available policies into desired results for the youth. Even though Zambia and Zimbabwe are comparable on the policy situation, the market conditions are starkly different with Zambia’s being more favourable compared to Zimbabwe’s. Zimbabwe comparatively faces major sociopolitical and economic environment ills.
Objectifs The overall goal is to improve livelihood and future prospects for additional 24’000 youth (11’000 in Zimbabwe and 13’000 in Zambia, at least 50% being young women) and 120’000 indirect beneficiaries, by creating green (self)-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in agri-food, renewable energy and emerging sectors.
Groupes cibles

The primary target group is unemployed and under-employed out-of-school young people between 18 and 30 years with the majority being those between 21 and 26.

The secondary target group includes various institutions and organisations whose capacity will be strengthened by the project.

Effets à moyen terme

Outcome 1: Additional 24’000 out of school youth (at least 50% young women) improve their employability skills. Youth with improved employability skills are matched with market opportunities and mentored into self-employment and enterprise development.

Outcome  2: Improved ecosystem’s effectiveness (public, private and civil service providers and private sector companies) in providing employability and employment opportunities. Over 13’000 young people enter new jobs or markets.

Outcome 3: Improved youth employment policy environment at national level via company partnerships, household and community engagement, and improved government coordination and implementation resulting in more effective strategies for youth employability and employment creation.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

  • Additional 24’000 youth benefit from financial, basic life (or soft) skills, and business courses.
  • Of the total youths, 12’000 receive guidance, coaching, and support in developing key skills and competencies necessary for employment or entrepreneurship.
  • Average yearly earnings increase to USD 720 from USD 290 and USD 216 for male and female youth respectively.
  • Above 2’000 new youth-led enterprises are formed or established
  • 16 localised policy forums where youth are engaged and consulted

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

  • Skill development to over 23’000 young people (about 15’000 (54%F) in Zimbabwe and over 8’000 (49%F) in Zambia).
  • Over 10’000 jobs (over 5’000 in Zimbabwe and over 4’000 in Zambia). 
  • Increased participants’ incomes by an average of 80% (88% Zimbabwe/71% in Zambia).
  • Gender income disparity narrowed from 29% at baseline to 17% at ending in Zambia with Zimbabwe having insignificant shifts as they were near null at baseline.
  • Over ¾ of young people went into the informal sector whereas almost ¼ worked in the formal sector.

Lessons learnt include the need to engage in select value chains supported by enterprise and market development. The diversity and varied needs of the youth also emerged as crucial driving elements for business aspirations and desired pathways for employment.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Coopération au développement
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
ONG internationale ou étrangère
Secteur privé
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Sectreur privé étranger Sud/Est
  • SNV – Netherlands Development Organisation (contribution)

Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs Strategic knowledge institutions, private companies, youth focused Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Within SDC portfolio in Zambia and Zimbabwe the Energy and Environment Partnership Africa (EEP) Trust Fund and Urban Food Security and Resilience Building Project.
Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    4’600’000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    450’000 Projet total depuis la première phase Budget de la Suisse CHF   4’802’233 Budget y compris partenaires de projet CHF   18’560’000
Phases du projet Phase 2 01.05.2024 - 30.04.2028   (Phase en cours) Phase 1 01.08.2018 - 31.12.2023   (Completed)