By Rachel Mkundai, Africare/Tanzania Communication Officer
Africare/Tanzania and BG Tanzania, a British Oil Exploration company, have partnered to launch a youth economic empowerment project dubbed ‘Kijana Jikwamue.’
The project aims to improve the livelihoods of 1,500 youth in Mtwara District Council and Mtwara-Mikindani Municipal Council through tailor-made life skills and entrepreneurship training, business mentoring and connections to markets.
By meeting the targeted youths with innovative entrepreneurship concepts and initiatives, the project will empower young people to start and expand their own enterprises. This will enable the youth to improve their livelihoods and create employment opportunities for themselves and their peers.
The project’s launch is a new born hope for youth in Mtwara. Young people will be able to undertake economic activities that expand upon their current interests using market information and linkages. Youth will be able to enter and develop value chains for a variety of sectors such as horticulture, fishing, cashew processing, beekeeping and more. Youth will also receive support in service sector businesses like transport, communications, food vending, restaurants and hotels. Financial literacy training and connections to financial services will further enable youth to access capital and invest in viable enterprises.
Speaking during the launching ceremony at VETA Mtwara, Africare Tanzania Deputy Country Director Alfred Kalaghe said Kijana Jikwamue will conduct various market studies and communicate the results to the targeted youth so they can make informed decisions.
“Africare believes that if youths are encouraged to participate in activities that improve their living standards, then they will be empowered to contribute to the national economy and its stability,” said Kalaghe.
Kalaghe also noted that the project will deliver value chain specific training to youth entrepreneurs in partnership with local authorities, producer groups and civil-society organizations in Mtwara District who also support youth initiatives.
The participating youth have already begun taking control of their destinies. They even named the project themselves. Kijana Jikwamue will provide them with new hope for their futures and will support them in building the futures they want.