Youth Employment and Skills Development to enhance economic opportunities in Eritrea

January 3, 2022

Young trainees’ beneficiaries in Keren, Eritrea

Photo: UNDP/Modici

As part of the UNDP’s Youth Employment and Skills Development Program, UNDP works in cooperation with the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW), National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), and the local administrations to create opportunities and a more enabling environment for young people to pursue their aspirations in the country, focusing mainly on entrepreneurial skills development and expanding economic opportunities for youth in Eritrea.

As a result, on 13 November 2021, 19 beneficiaries graduated from the ceramic craftsmanship while an additional 13 young women and 2 young men graduated in basic computer training, provided as part of the Youth Employment and Skills Development Program in Zoba Anseba.

The UNDP`s Youth Employment and Skills Development project was first initiated in 2007 in partnership with the NUEYS and other stakeholders with the objective of creating tangible and practical skills development initiatives and employment opportunities for the youth. Fully designed to develop youth skills and capabilities by attracting selected vulnerable young men and women beneficiaries with small metal and wood­work establishments, the project was implemented successfully in Keren, Anseba Region before being expanded to Barentu, Gash Barka Region and to all the remaining regions. Following the initial success, the project was expanded in 2014 and has been implemented over the years with the financial support of UNDP and the Governments of Norway and Switzerland.

Woman doing pottery

Fiori Alemu, beneficiary of UNDP’s Youth Employment and Skills Development Program receiving the certificate

Photo: UNDP/Modici

The project achievement record indicated that between 2007 till date more than total of 3,000 youth (out of whom 57% women) received vocation and entrepreneurship skill development trainings in four training centres of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students.

At the graduation ceremony, Azazi Bereketeab, Head of the NUEYS in Zoba Anseba acknowledged UNDP’s significant contribution in the ongoing efforts by the NUEYS to support the youth and women to improve their livelihood through provision of skill development trainings of their choice.  In terms of the selection process, identification of beneficiaries of the training programme are done in their respective localities by a selection committee comprising of representatives from the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, National Union of Eritrean Women, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and Local Government based on the set selection criteria.

According to Ms. Shamla Ghebrekidan the project coordinator in Zoba Anseba within the 2020-2021 financial year, a total of 349 people (276 women and 73 men) received   different skills and vocational trainings such as poultry farming, apiculture, handcraft made out of palm tree leaves and pearls, hairdressing, cuisine, water pump maintenance, music, ceramic craftsmanship as well as wood and metal works. The trainings were held in eight sub-zoba training centres for a duration of three to nine months.

The program implementation included the provision of interest-free loan programs for trainees to orient the youth towards business initiatives.

Fiori Alemu, 31-year-old, is among the 19 women beneficiaries who received training on ceramics making. She was happy for being able to sell her ceramic products in the Keren market and grateful to be able to generate income to support her family.

The UNDP partnership with National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) aligned with the imperative of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) and aims at ensuring that the youth are informed, engaged, and empowered to contribute to sustainable human development and resilience of their communities.

Importantly, UNDP acknowledges the Government of Eritrea’s incredible support in helping the organization deliver on its mandate by making a significant contribution to Eritrea`s efforts of advancing its national development aspirations towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

People centred development in line with Government priorities of Leave no One Behind.

For media enquiry, please contact:

Monica Modici, Communications Analyst, UNDP Eritrea at