Ethiopia. Returning migrants, job training courses.
06-10-2023 | di COOPI

Ethiopia. Returning migrants, job training courses.

Has completely ended the second cycle of trainings aimed at the labour insertion of returning migrants carried out by COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale among the activities foreseen by the project “Emergency initiative to promote protection, economic integration and access to basic services for potential migrants, returnees and internally displaced persons in Ethiopia”. Following and supporting throughout the socio-economic reintegration process those returning to Ethiopia after a completed migration experience is one of the objectives of the project, funded by AICS (Italian Agency for Development) and led by Save The Children. 

Most studies indicate that people migrate for economic reasons and Ethiopian youth are no exception. Limited access to decent livelihoods, lack of job opportunities, and lack of adequate financial support force many boys and girls to leave and enter, often, into contexts of irregularity and risk of human rights violations.

More than 50 percent of irregular migrants come from Oromia, one of Ethiopia's largest regions and an area of implementation of project activities. At the same time, Oromia hosts more than half of the repatriated population. These are people who, after unsuccessful experiences of migration to the Arabian Peninsula, were involuntarily forced to return to their place of origin.

Since forcibly repatriation often results in re-migration efforts, possibly even resorting to riskier routes and means, the commitment of AICS and COOPI is to enable the Ethiopians who have returned home to reintegrate into their economy of origin. The project aims to support government institutions in expanding the services available to returnees and in providing, in particular, training courses that young Ethiopians can see as a way to become part of their home society again.

78 people, including 31 women, were trained in February 2022 during a first training session on basic soft skills useful in the world of entrepreneurship. Among the participants were also 16 former beneficiaries of projects run by COOPI, who work as tyre makers and grain pickers, grinders, and local administrators of the kebeles (Ethiopian administrative units) where the activities took place. The trainers, on the other hand, included historical COOPI partners in the country, such as professors from the University of Madda Walabu and the Polytechnic College of Robe, in the Bale area of Oromia, and contact persons from the Sinana District Employment Office.

A second round of training took place at the participants' workplace and was aimed at providing specific skills in the use of whole-grain milling machines and the installation of an electrical system. Between April, May, and June, each training took place directly at the beneficiaries’ workplace and lasted one month at each location.

Finally, the support that the AICS-funded project provides also includes coaching to start a path to legal recognition of new youth cooperatives. Initial capital is provided to returning migrants who, after training, decide to set up new income-generating activities. The hope is that these activities will not only give a new opportunity to young Ethiopians returning home but also discourage the migration of compatriots by driving the economic development of the Bale area.

COOPI has a long experience in income-generating activities in the country. It has been operating in the country since 1995 and is part of a dense network of entities aimed at youth training, such as universities.