SOMALILAND: Oxfam Concludes Work in Progress Project with Success

By Abdirisak Itaqile

Hargeisa, (Somaliland Monitor) -Oxfam Somaliland has successfully concluded a four-year youth promotion and SME development project “Work in Progress! (WiP!) Project”, by looking at the horizon to continue working in a second four-year phase in which to consolidate the results obtained to date.

The goal of Work in Progress project was to improve the economic prospects of young people in Somaliland by building their skills to find a job and stimulating entrepreneurship.

Starting from January 2016, The Project, Implemented by Oxfam Somaliland and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands as part of the LEAD (Local Employment in Africa for Development) programme saw the acceleration of 35 start-up businesses and the creation of 225 jobs for Somaliland youths.

The project’s closing ceremony held in Ali Jirde Hotel in Hargeisa on December 30, 2019, brought together Work in Progress! Alliance organizations, Oxfam local partners, high ranking government officials including the Director-General of the Ministry of Employment Mr. Abdirashid Ibrahim, beneficiaries of the project, and many others.

“The purpose of this event is to mark the end of a four-year youth promotion and SME development project “Work in Progress! (WiP!). The Project started in 2016 and is now completing its final year. The project was implemented in the country’s different regions and cities. This closing event of Work In Progress Project doesn’t mean that the project came to an end completely but it also marks the beginning of a second four year phase of the project starting January 2020 up to December 2023.” Said Hassan Mohamed aka Hassan Gadhhaye, a senior officer of Oxfam’s Work In Progress Project.

“The Project’s second phase is broader than the previous phase with the inclusion of university students as the beneficiaries of the project and many other things.” He added.

Mr. Gadhhaye thanked Oxfam partners, beneficiaries of the project and Somaliland government while pointing out that the project used a holistic approach to tackle youth unemployment in Somaliland.

The Work in Progress! Alliance is a collaboration between Oxfam (Novib), Butterfly Works, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A).

In Somaliland, Oxfam partner with Shuraako for BDS and Havoyoco for employability skills trainings and creating an enabling environment. In cooperation with Shaqodoon, Butterfly Works supports the Bits digital design school Hargabits. IOM, providing services and advice to governments and migrants, works in cooperation with the Somaliland Skills Training Association, SOSTA, to train youth in various vocational and technical skills.

hassan gadhhaye1
Hassan Mohamed aka Hassan Gadhhaye, senior officer of Oxfam’s Work In Progress Project.

In his opening remarks, the Director-General of Ministry of Employment, Social and Family Affairs (MESAF), Mr. Abdirashid Ibrahim detailed project’s scope, achievements and milestones.

“As a matter of Work in Progress project was an effective program in terms of the number of jobs created, the number of start-up businesses accelerated.” Said Abdirashid Ibrahim, the Director-General of Ministry of Employment, Social and Family Affairs (MESAF).

“The project was based on three main pillars and aimed to: Increase the supply of skilled youth by developing young people’s skills and capacities. Develop market demand by providing business development services to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and created an enabling environment for youth employment, startups and SMEs by addressing any social norms, practices, laws or regulations that are impeding change.” He added.

abdirashid ibrahim
Director-General of Ministry of Employment, Social and Family Affairs (MESAF), Mr. Abdirashid Ibrahim

Ministry of Employment’s Director-General continued to say: “It’s noteworthy to mention that Work in Progress Project in collaboration with the local NGO Havoyoco helped Employment, Social and Family Affairs ministry to draft the National Internship Policy which was approved by the cabinet on October 2019. The National Internship Policy will play a vital role in creating a fairer and more impactful internships for young people in Somaliland.”

beneficiaries of work in progress project in somaliland
beneficiaries of work in progress project in somaliland

Lastly, Abdirashid Ibrahim thanked Oxfam and its partners, the Dutch government and the beneficiaries of the project as well as the participants of the event.

About Work in Progress Project

The Work in Progress! Alliance aims to enable young people from diverse backgrounds to generate sustainable living wages and create optimism about their future in Egypt, Nigeria, and post-conflict Somaliland.

Project’s focus

  1. Building young people’s skills for today and the future to find paid jobs or set up their own enterprises.
  2. Accelerating startups and offering business development services (BDS) to impact-driven small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) so they can employ more young people – improving the demand side of the market – and deepen their social and environmental impact.
  3. Improving the enabling environment for youth and enterprises by influencing actors including government, the private sector and citizens to change policies, laws, practices, attitudes and beliefs concerning youth and work.

Alliance partners

The Work in Progress! Alliance is a collaboration between Oxfam (Novib), Butterfly Works, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A).

In Somaliland, Oxfam with Shuraako for BDS and Havoyoco for employability skills trainings and creating an enabling environment. In cooperation with Shaqodoon, Butterfly Works supports the Bits digital design school Hargabits. IOM, providing services and advice to governments and migrants, works in cooperation with the Somaliland Skills Training Association, SOSTA, to train youth in various vocational and technical skills. Together with Innovate Ventures, VC4A connects startups to knowledge, mentorship and finance through its online platform.

In Nigeria, Oxfam partners with Poise for employability skills training and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) for BDS and improving the enabling environment for SMEs and youth. Butterfly Works also partners with Poise to support the Bits digital design schools, Ekobits and Edobits. VC4A facilitates accelerator programmes and investor events in Nigeria with She Leads Africa.

Ahead of the Curve is our BDS partner in Egypt, where since 2019 we have partnered with The Community Hub to create an enabling environment. We have also partnered with the National Employment Pact (NEP), which was created in response to demands from Egyptian youth for fair employment opportunities following the 2011 revolution and is committed to providing opportunities for technical and low-skilled work. VC4A offers its infrastructure, network and expertise to design and implement startup support initiatives with Innoventures in Egypt.

beneficiaries of work in progress project in somaliland 2

 

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