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Our Vision

Ethiopian youth who are game changers: empowered to advance their own economic, civic, and social development; resilient in the face of shocks; actively promoting development within their communities and contributing to the country’s peace and prosperity.
Our integrated and multi-sectoral approach co-designed with youth and grounded in positive youth development, starts with a mindset shift: given the opportunity, youth can lead the country to a peaceful and prosperous future.
To this end, youth will not be mere recipients of Kefeta – they will be its co-creators, implementers, decisionmakers and leaders.


With youth between ages 15-29 accounting for 33.8% of the urban population, and another 32.8% below the age of 15, Ethiopia is poised for a significant youth bulge. Readying the youth ecosystem to accommodate this growth and harvest the demographic dividend is of paramount importance for the country’s socio economic and political transformation.
Sources: EDHS 2016; MoE Annual Statistics (2019-2020); MoE Report, 2020 CSA; Ministry of Women, Children and Youth National Roadmap to End Child Marriage and FGM/C 2020–2024; 2019 PMA Survey Result, 2019


Youth Map Kefeta Amref




Ethiopian youth are ready for change: They want to be the force for change for their country, they want their voices heard and to be given the opportunity to dream big and materialize the dream. They are ready to contribute to their country and be treated equally.


Starting with the formation of youth coalitions and networks, and establishing a youth-led Youth Empowerment Fund, Kefeta works towards empowering youth to advance their own economic, civic, and social development.



Kefeta will encourage youth to join existing youth groups and/or establish new interest groups in schools, higher education institutions (HEIs), workplaces, and out-of-school settings. We will then link these groups through local, regional, and national coalitions with democratically elected boards, and build their institutional capacity across governance, fundraising, inclusivity, and more. The coalitions will be a permanent platform for youth to network and collectively advocate for their rights, amplifying their voices and fortifying their actions.


Kefeta will create a platform comprising 16 universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to develop approaches and tools to align education and workforce needs, strengthen career services, and enhance data systems to monitor student outcomes. One of the core activities of the Alliance will be to enhance HEI career centers, which will be the main spaces for students to access life skills training, employability skills, linkages to internships, employment opportunities, and other YFS.


Kefeta will allocate $10 million to the youth empowerment fund (YEF), which will provide seed grants for the creation of new youth groups and higher education institution activities, matching grants to help youth groups and coalitions address community challenges, and low interest loans for youth who want to start or grow their own business through Kefeta youth saving and credit cooperative (SACCO).


Kefeta will improve access to quality, comprehensive, respectful, youthfriendly, and gender-sensitive services by engaging and training service providers and expanding service delivery points in locations frequented by youth, such as youth hubs, schools, and industrial parks.


Kefeta will work with Ethiopian private companies such as East African Holding (EAH) and Roha Health Campus to support youth employment, creation of YFS within the private workspace and to use them as learning platforms for all our employment and youth engagement related interventions.


Using a franchise model, Kefeta will establish 26 city hubs, of which eight will serve as cluster hubs managed by youth coalitions. Housed in existing youth centers, all hubs will provide a range of free services, including life skills trainings, career services, business incubation, and referrals to youth-friendly health services. The youth hubs will be a crucial safe space for out-of-school youth to congregate, learn and explore, and exercise creativity.


To ensure the development of permanent platforms for Ethiopian youth, Kefeta will turn selected interventions and end products into enterprises as part of youth coalition capacity building. Kefeta will feature a built-in business incubation arm that will support potential entrepreneurs to conduct feasibility studies, implementation research, and develop business models.

Our Partners


Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa-based international non-governmental organization (NGO). They are currently running programs in over 35 countries in Africa with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa. Amref Health Africa also incorporates programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries; Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University. Since 2002, Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia has partnered with the Government of Ethiopia and local communities to implement diverse health and development project portfolios throughout the country.


Amref Health Africa leads Kefeta, which conceptualizes Ethiopian youth as game changers, empowered to advance their own economic, civic and social development, promote development within their communities, and ultimately contribute to Ethiopia’s peace and prosperity. Amref Health Africa is working with local organizations, both public and private, as well as international groups in order to realize this vision.

International Youth Foundation (IYF), based in Baltimore, Maryland, is a youth empowerment organization which has been focused on identifying sustainable opportunities to support youth as employees, entrepreneurs, change-makers and citizens. For 30 years, IYF has worked with over 600 local partners in more than 100 countries, with 3 primary objectives: strengthening youth agency, increasing economic opportunities, and ensuring that systems are youth inclusive. Their funding partners include the W.K Kellogg Foundation, the Aga Khan Foundation, BP, Akimat of Atyrau Region, American Express, Arcos Dorados, Chevron, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ukaid, FedEx, Mastercard, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, World Learning, and countless others. Given their experience with youth empowerment through programs such as the Passport to Success soft skills curriculum and other capacity building tools, IYF contributes to foundational as well as intermediate result areas of Kefeta interventions.

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research university established in 1885 and has been named the most innovative university in America for the past six consecutive years. The University partners with international development agencies to work on projects worldwide; they work on USAID-funded projects in various countries in different domains such as education, human rights, and law. ASU will draw on its experience forging coalitions with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Malawi, Ghana, and Morocco to partner with Addis Ababa University (AAU) and Addis Ababa Tegbareid Polytechnic College (AATPC) and form an Ethiopian HEI alliance (with at least 16 universities and TVETs across the highest priority regions). It supports youth in higher education to be fully prepared for employment and entrepreneurship while enhancing data systems to monitor student outcomes.

John Hopkins University Center for Communications Program (JHU-CCP) was created to emphasize the importance of communication in public health with several areas of focus including family planning & reproductive health, HIV, non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, as well as malaria, COVID-19, and other emerging infectious diseases. JHU-CCP works with NGOs, government, and community health workers, among others, and has two decades of experience implementing Social and Behavior Change (SBC) programs in Ethiopia.


JHUCCP leads mass mobilization, capacity building and social, behavior change (SBC) interventions to raise youth voices, provide platforms for meaningful dialogue with key stakeholders, and channel youth energy into a force for change. They employ gender transformative models and tools in the design and execution of the SBC strategy, contributing to key foundational and intermediate result areas of Kefeta.

Local Partners - CSOS

Development Expertise Center (DEC) is an Ethiopian National Civil Society Organization founded in 2007. It has long-standing experiences of implementing projects in four program areas: skills and entrepreneurship development, lobby and advocacy, child development, as well as gender and life skills development programs. DEC has its own entrepreneurship and vocational training centers in Bahirdar, Jimma, Dessie, and Kombolcha cities. Building on its experiences, DEC will contribute in key Kefeta result areas in selected intervention cities.

Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD) established in 2005, ECDD is one of the leading Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations engaged in promoting, facilitating and building organizational capacity for disability inclusive development in the country. ECDD has extensive experience in promoting and supporting the implementation of inclusive policies and practices for the social and economic inclusion of persons having visual, hearing, mobility and intellectual disabilities in health, employment and economic empowerment programs. ECDD will play a key role in ensuring inclusion of youth with disabilities in interventions of all Kefeta result areas.

Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) is a volunteer-based Association established in 1966. FGAE pioneered family planning (FP) services and tested different innovative approaches (including youth-friendly, community and workplace programs) to create demand and address the unmet need for modern FP. Currently, the Association is a network of eight branches and 47 integrated SRH service delivery facilities including 15 youth centers and 10 sex-workers friendly clinics, more than 200 outreach sites and 306 social franchised private family health clinics. Building on its experiences as youth-serving organization, FGAE contributes in key Kefeta result area in most of the intervention cities.

Talent Youth Association (TAYA) is a youth-led national civil society organization founded in 2003. TAYA has experience in employing a tested strategy to ensure meaningful engagement of young people in governance and programming, and uses Youth-Adult partnership as a model to facilitate youth involvement in policy and legal processes. Recently, TaYA has entered MOU with Addis Ababa Bureau of Youth and Volunteerism Coordination and Job Creation Commission to work on the city’s six youth centers to transform them to youth friendly multipurpose incubation centers. Building on its experiences as youth-focused organization, TAYA plays key roles in the implementation of Kefeta Activity in selected intervention cities.

Youth Culture Development Foundation (YCDF) is a youth development national Civil Society Organization established in 2013. YCDF implements various projects that contribute for youth development with emphasis on life skills education, gender-sensitive pedagogy, intercultural dialogue, sustainable livelihood, youth empowerment and participation, and active citizenship. Currently, as part of its strategic mission on peace education, conflict management and resolution, good governance and democratization, YCDF is involved in the CSOs task force of the Ministry of Peace and the Ethiopian Human Right Commission. The Foundation becomes one of the partners of Kefeta consortium to contribute in selected result areas implemented in urban cities.

Youth Network for Sustainable Development (YNSD) is a national civil society organization legally registered in 2004. It is an umbrella network of more than 160 youth organizations/associations operating in the country. The major role of the organization is to develop capacities of its members by providing technical, financial and material support.  YNSD’s major program area focuses on youth and women empowerment through capacity building trainings, organizing youth dialogue forums, conducting experience exchange programs at national and international levels, and organizing youth led events. Information and Communication Technology (ICT), health and environment are also YNSD’s other program focus areas.


Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS) revolutionizes institutions and supports individuals through evidence-based leadership training, while also taking into account cultural and local contexts. They have varied partners, including Seed Forum Global, Tecno Mobile, Afrilabs, Dashen Bank, Jobs Creation Commission Ethiopia, the University of Michigan, British Council, Afro Bytes, Social Enterprise Ethiopia, and iHub. Embracing the principles of innovation, passion, collaboration, and environment, Xhub, a new branch of CALS was launched in 2014. This branch of CALS, which specializes in training, leadership and entrepreneurship, mentors young entrepreneurs in various fields including information technology, engineering, agribusiness, art, education and more. Partnering with other Kefeta consortium members, CALS contributes to key interventions implemented in target urban cities.

Dereja, a subsidiary of Info Mind Solutions PLC, was established in 2017 and works primarily in Addis Abeba. Specializing in entrepreneurship training, coaching, and skills training, Dereja hosts a digital portal which provides employment information, an accelerator program, and career expos, supporting recent graduates to make informed and beneficial decisions as they embark on their new career. Some of Dereja’s partners include Jobs Creation Commission Ethiopia, GIZ, People in Need, Earuyan Solutions, Mastercard Foundation, and Young Africa Works, and their overall program is supported by Young Africa Works as well as the Mastercard Foundation. Dereja lends technical support to Kefeta, and ultimately contributes to key result areas

Orangeswitch Marketing and Advertising is a boutique total solution strategy and creative agency. Our skillset extends from early-stage strategic development to the realization of brand identity and tactical and communication elements. Orangeswitch has been working within the advertising industry for ten years. During the years it has been in business, it has been refining its services and tools of delivery for a transcending work output. Orangeswitch has a proven track record of delivering unparalleled support and value to each and every one of our clients, whether it’s a large corporation, governmental institutions, NGOs or a startup local business. Our clients depend on us for all facets of marketing including: corporate branding, advertising, layout design, event coordination, communication campaign and photography.

EGA Management and Financial Solution PLC is a private management and finance consulting firm which was launched in 2015. EGA specializes in systems design and review, organizational assessment and restructuring, business consulting services providing growth-oriented business strategies, strategy design, development and implementation, as well as training and capacity building. This private firm has diverse clients, including NGOs, private companies, academic institutions, and bi-lateral organizations. Using an organization development and system strengthening (ODSS) tool, EGA will conduct a preliminary analysis of the local CSOs’ capacity in their respective hubs. This tool will allow for the co-design of a capacity development plan for these local CSOs, examining how to further strengthen their ability to design, implement, monitor and evaluate the impact of their programing. This technical and programmatic capacity building will be imperative for ensuring the sustainability of these local organizations.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Quality Improvement Consultancy PLC (MERQ) is a consulting firm established in 2013, with a branch in Semera – Afar region, and a sister company in the US. Their projects are funded by a variety of donors, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centre for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT) at the University of Michigan, the Ethio-Canada MNCH Project, Twining Centre, American International Health Alliance (AIHA), the Fred Hollows Foundation, WHO, John Hopkins University (JHU), Network of HIV + in Ethiopia (NEP+), and the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMwA).  MERQ provides training in the fields of health and social sciences, services in public health and health care, management and capacity building. With specializations in monitoring, evaluation, research, quality improvement, capacity building & training, and program assessments, MERQ serves as a technical resource partner for Kefeta and supports activity evaluations and standardize tools and strategies for baseline assessments.