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Youth employment and entrepreneurship project.


Rajo – youth employment and entrepreneurship project is a multi-actor joint project addressing high youth unemployment as well as lack of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Somaliland and Puntland. The project empowers especially youth in a vulnerable position. The development goal is to increase youth employment rate in the project areas. By providing vocational trainings the project also responses to large demand for labor in technical fields.

Somalia’s demographic profile shows a significant increase of the youth population. According to the most recent census (2014), 75 % of population in Somalia was below the age of 30. Roughly half of the population is below the age of 15 years. Two-thirds of the youth are unemployed This unemployment rate is not only one of the highest unemployment rates in the world but exposes the youth to extremism. To add, the structural violence exists as the youth are socially excluded from decision-making processes.

In Somalia, in general, the capacity and facilities of the Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) education institutions and schools are at very low standard. The fact that vocational training is not appreciated in the country explains most part. As the appreciation does not exist neither has there been strong focus on developing the TVET sector with proper school facilities and quality teaching. It is clear, that country needs qualified professionals, both men and women.

The three project areas, Hargeisa, Buhodle – Lasanod region and Gardo, are characterized by dryland ecosystems which are sensitive and susceptible for disturbance. Buhodle – Lasanod region and Gardo are rural towns with an estimated population of 80 000 each including also surrounding villages. Hargeisa, on the contrary, is a city with about 1 million inhabitants. Project cooperates with three local vocational education institutions, which are financed either by private or public funding.

Four teachers from each institution will participate in the project. HAMK is responsible for teachers pedagogical training and participates in development of vocational education and work-based learning models.

Project objectives

  • Youth in a vulnerable position gain vocational skills and work experience in the sectors that have demand for labor. Project offers opportunities for vocational education to young people in three different fields. 60% of the students belong to vulnerable groups such as internally displaced people, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and single mothers.
  • Quality of vocational education in partner schools increases. HAMK is responsible for pedagogical training for teachers and for creating, together with local teachers, a model for learning at work.
  • Communities value vocational skills and training more than before. This objective is linked to long-term objectives of developing vocational education and training in Somalia.

Finnish Somalia Network coordinates the project. In addition, there are three Finnish non-governmental organisations participating in the project; Bado, Iftin Association and Sool, Sanaag and Hawd Development Association (SSHDA). Local partner organisations are Knowledge-Action Center (KAC), Somali Social Forum (SSF) ja Nomadic Development Association (NDO).

Häme University of Applied Sciences partners in RAJO project focusing on teachers pedagogical training, development of vocational education and work-based learning.

Project is funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs Finland.

Project period: 1.1.2021-31.12.2022

More information on the project in Finnish language is provided at the website of the Finnish Somalia Network.