Thousands of youths in Malawi have gained employment and some have even created jobs for their peers, thanks to a project supported by the African Development Bank.
The Jobs for Youth in Malawi project implemented between 2017 and 2022 has helped develop an entrepreneurial culture among young people, from primary school to university according to the project completion report released by the bank on 24 January 2023.
The African Development Fund, the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank Group, had provided a loan of $10.45 million and a grant of $1.73 million to Malawi for the project’s implementation. The objective was to improve the employability of the country’s youth — women and men — by providing them with decent work, thereby promoting their economic empowerment. It also aimed to help them develop sustainable entrepreneurship. The Jobs for Youth in Malawi project focused on both training and technical assistance to training institutes. In addition, the initiative helped to provide practical training for out-of-school youths and to set up an internship programme for youths.
By the end of the project, a total of 14,933 young people were employed. Some of them went on to create jobs for others, and provide internships and vocational training through the business incubation programme in targeted sectors such as manufacturing, information and communication technology, agriculture and small-scale mining. These training programmes have resulted in the creation of 5,276 businesses. A B2B trade facilitation training programme for 110 young people delivered, 30 young people signed business deals to be supplying horticulture and other agricultural produce to large supermarkets and other agro-produce off-takers.
According to the African Development Bank report, project funds, including vocational entrepreneurship training, were reallocated to the construction of four technical colleges for training in the selected sectors—mining, manufacturing, ICT and agriculture. The construction of technical colleges in Ngara, Mbandira, Neno and Naminjiwa has been completed. Furniture and equipment have been installed, and the colleges are now operational. At the time of the project’s conclusion, two of the four colleges had already enrolled a total of 225 youth, 114 youth in the garment sector and 111 in agriculture.