Dashen stars youth job program in six cities

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

One of the two most profitable financial firms, Dashen Bank, launches the pro government initiative to expand youth entrepreneurship in a program that will include six cities at the initial stage with a budget of 100 million birr.
The project called ‘Ethiopian Talent Power Series’ is part of the bank’s five-year strategy plan that was approved a year ago, according to Asfaw Alemu, president of Dashen.
He said that the project is also one of the pillars of the government’s strategy to achieve in the coming years. Job creation has been the one of the government’s priorities in the past while actual achievement was poor. Abiy Ahmed’s new initiative, Home Grown Economic Reform Agenda, and the formation of commission for the job creation has been the imputes behind this.
Mamo Mihretu, the Prime Minister’s Policy Advisor, who attended the launching ceremony held on Thursday December 26, said that the reform agenda is mainly targets to shift the public driven economic direction to private sector. Since the reform agenda, which is a three year strategy started on the current budget year, they introduced several pro private sector policy reforms implemented and others will continue.
“The job creation will be primarily led by the private engine. The current initiative of Dashen is a good start that others should follow,” Mamo said.
Asfaw said that the program would include higher education institutions, researchers and public institutions who are engaged in the job creation initiative.
The project will have capacity building and training on entrepreneurship that is also supported by universities and other experts.
“We have several initiatives to promote our company in that framework we shall manage such new programs,” the president said.
“We have resources. The issue is how we play on the project. Providing finance is not a solution they would not back by capacity building,” he added.
Yihnalem Aknaw, Chief Transformation and Customer Experience Officer, said that the project will continue for the future.
“The ‘Ethiopian Talent Power Series’ has six pillars including entrepreneurial training, capacity building on small, medium enterprises higher education finance support, access to finance, business club formation and market linkage and finance support,” Yihnalem said.
“After the accomplishment of the training and capacity building the under the business club initiative the bank will provide finance for entreprenenuers to start business and other financers shall also provide form them,” he added.
Under initial stage of the project six centers at Dire Dawa, Addis Ababa, Meqele, Hawassa, Adama and Bahir Dar will be formed and they will include the surroundings, according to the top management of the bank.
Under a single centre 1,000 youth will be included on the training and they would form company at their graduation.
Chief Transformation and Customer Experience Officer said the bank has form a division to follow the performance of the project. The project will consume 100 million birr that is separate with the budget that will allocate as a loan.
The president indicated that despite they have been targeted to commence the project before the government announced the cancelation of 27 percent bond purchase under NBE bill directive, the government decision will encourage the initiative.
The bank leaders said that in September Dashen has been reduced the interest rate for loan on some type of business. “Following the government decision to stop the 27 percent bond on every loan ware also revising our loan interest rate that will be announced soon,” Asfaw added.