Press release

Youth Network Committee to shape activities for the host and refugee youth in Ethiopia

The committee will provide strategic direction and guide implementation of the meaningful youth engagement programme of the ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF focusing on skills and socio-economic development of the youth in Ethiopia.

Press release | Addis Ababa | 13 October 2022
Members of the Youth Network Committee at the launch ceremony ©ILO/Homa Ejeta
A 15-member Youth Network Committee (YNC), comprising youth leaders representing refugee, internally displaced and host communities, was launched in Ethiopia on Thursday. It will serve as a formal advisory group for the ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF partnership funded by the Kingdom of Netherlands, on “Advancing Young People’s Engagement and Meaningful Participation in the PROSPECTS Programme”.

At the launch event, Alexio Musindo, Country Director for the ILO – Addis Ababa, shared, “We recognize the capacity of the youth not just as beneficiaries, but also as leaders and partners in our work. Through YNC, we aim to develop their skills and confidence to volunteer for their own communities. We will encourage them to identify and resolve issues, including those of protection, skills development and employment.”

The members of the YNC will receive capacity development support on leadership and advocacy. They are organized under a youth-led governance structure and will meet quarterly to reflect on the progress and to provide inputs to the meaningful youth engagement programme activities. Shaima Ali, a Youth Network Committee member, expressed her excitement saying, “Youth have potential to bring change and need opportunities to influence decision making for the policies affecting them. We believe through YNC we will be able to voice for the rights and aspirations of the Ethiopian youth.“

The committee has been formed for the period of one year and will receive representation at the Women and Social Affairs and Youth Federation structures at regional and federal level. “The YNC will influence tools being designed to promote skills development and rights at work, development of like Job Search Clubs and Entrepreneurship Support Fund (Youth-to-Youth fund). The members will contribute to data collection and mapping of small and medium enterprises which will support young people’s transition to the labour market,” said Milagros Lazo Castro, Youth Employment and Participation Officer, ILO.

The launch ceremony was attended by H.E. Henk Jan Bakker, Ambassador Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “We are increasingly putting youth at the heart of our development policies. We are investing in improving prospects for young people by bridging the gap between the skills young people learn and what the labour market demands. The YNC represents our vision and we hope to create a model which will inspire more countries to engage with the youth.”

Supporting the initiative, Mr Abiy Hailemelkot, CEO – Youth National and Voluntary Service Enhancement, Ministry of the Women and Social Affairs, Mr Husien Gayid, Head of the Somali Regional State, Skills and Jobs Bureau and Dr Mohammed Ayanle Dahir, Deputy Head Somali Regional State, Youth and Sports Bureau, made supporting statements at the event. Along with the YNC members, key attendees were Robert Nyambaka, UNHCR Senior Livelihoods Officer, Dominic Muntanga, UNICEF, Education Specialist, and Tine Staermose, Special Advisor for the ILO.

Following the launch, YNC held its first meeting to finalize the governance structure and priorities of the committee.


The PROSPECTS Partnership is a multi-year programme, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, that brings together five agencies (ILO, World Bank, IFC, UNICEF, UNHCR) to devise collaborative and innovative approaches for inclusive job creation and education in contexts characterized by forced displacement. The programme encompasses three pillars, namely Education, Jobs, and Protection and operates in eight countries across East Africa, Horn of Africa and the Middle East employing an area-based approach, in which the partner agencies jointly focus their activities on selected regions in each country.
In Ethiopia, the ILO, in partnership with UNICEF and UNHCR, is implementing a new activity area entitled “Advancing Young People’s Engagement and Meaningful Participation in the PROSPECTS Partnership.” The objective is to empower and meaningfully engage young people in forced displacement contexts so that they develop their skills and confidence to lead socio-economic and cultural activities, start an enterprise, address protection concerns, volunteer in their communities, advocate on issues that are important to them, and provide input to programming, including PROSPECTS.

For more information contact
Milagros Lazo Castro,
Youth Employment and Participation Officer, ILO:

Nilesh Nikade,
Communication Officer, ILO PROSPECTS: