Micro and Medium Scale Enterprises (MMSEs) have been creating ample job opportunities for the youth, while helping this important segment of the community to unleash their full entrepreneurial capability, not to mention the sector's role in paving the way for import substitution.
The government has also been supporting this important growth engines in various ways ranging from creating favorable environment for the youth to organize themselves to availing finance, manufacturing sheds to facilitating of service provisions.
The Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency is one important government institution that facilitates the delivery of clear, fast and effective services for job seekers and the enterprises. The Agency has established a one-stop service centers in all states across the country. The centers are meant to deliver all the necessary services in one stop thereby to save time and cost.
Establishing the centres could be a key step, but it cannot be a goal. In this regard, the Agency has established a sustainable mechanism to follow up whether the service delivery is effective or not. And it annually evaluates and recognizes best performers while identifies those lagging behind.
Recently the Agency has given recognitions to 1, 371 best performers from across all states and the two city administrations [Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa].
A report by the Agency states that the centers have provided services to over 2,606,844 people organized into SMES in terms of loan grant and training.
The services also triggered 14.5 billion market chains which were provided for 181,044 enterprises over the last 11 months of the fiscal year already concluded. In addition, 5,501 sheds were transferred to 10,446 enterprises.
Agency's Enterprise Development Sector Vice Director General Bekele Mengistu explained that currently over 1,650 service centers are operating nationwide which provides supporting services for new job seekers and existing SMEs.
The award and recognition was based on last Ethiopian fiscal year's execution report, the Vice-Director highlighted, pointing out that 1, 371 one-stop service center workers were nominated and received recognitions.
Accordingly, 88, 271, 314,325 centers have taken 1st, 2nd ,3rd and 4th grades respectively. However, the evaluation also cast beam of light on others which are lagging behind. "We would work hard to bring the rest centers to front positions as they are important for the youth to harness their potentials." The winning centers received printers and Desktop computers.
The recognition is crucial to strengthen the service provision. One of the awardees from Kobo Woreda in Amhara State Muleta Muhamad backs this assertion saying: "This recognition helps us to work more and other individuals will also follow suit."
The service provision is critical in giving hope to the youth for it convince them to work and prosper in their home towns, he said, adding that countless youth organizations have engaged in urban agriculture, manufacturing and construction fields. "We offered trainings, loans as well as manufacturing sheds."
For him, the tasks had gone successful due to the effective collaboration among centers, Woreda and Kebele administrations.
Boja Kena Oromia State Dukem city service centre coordinator is also of the same opinion with Muleta, and added that the services helped some six enterprises to upgrade their positions to high level investors while 13 investors would move into develo pmental youth investors.