Speech - Minister Mekuria Haile - Launch of Ethiopia's Entrepreneurship Development Programme
- Delivered by Minister Mekuria Haile, Ministry of Urban Development and Construction
Your Excellency, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you to this first Ethiopia’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme Launch Ceremony.
Today, the Ethiopian business trends and the entrepreneurial landscape demands far more sophisticated skills in order to achieve competitiveness and ensure survival of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) which have to look beyond domestic markets to global markets for their sustainable growth.
As you may be aware, attempts have been made in recent years, especially during the PASDEP to provide entrepreneurship development services in a more organized fashion to MSE operators in a bid to enhance their capabilities and broaden their growth and survival. Most of these efforts tended to focus on entrepreneurship development as a source of livelihood or coping strategies for the unemployed, and not as part of a comprehensive and coherent government strategy for creating a change agents for local entrepreneurs that would establish and sustain viable and competitive enterprises. Enterprise that would become the backbone and foundation of the country’s industrial growth and transformation as now envisaged in the GTP.
This initiative, whose launch we are all here to witness is one of the most innovative programmatic intervention aimed at providing targeted support to the Micro and Small business sector to create job opportunities and ultimately contribute to the attainment of country’s medium-term development vision of becoming a middle income country by 2025. I am confident that this program will help to transform the mindset and attitudes of many of our young people, graduates from our TVETs and universities and their families in spite of looking for jobs and living as employees to challenging their aptitudes to become social entrepreneurs who will create jobs for others.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my firm belief that in line with the strategic direction set in our GTP, this Entrepreneurship Development Programme will significantly contributes to the development of a private sector led manufacturing and service industries. Thus, we will achieve the objective with unwavering support and commitment of all of you and the ownership of our government to this program. My ministry will be reaching out to all stakeholders, be it private sector, civil society, training institutions, and development partners as well as entrepreneurs to synergize interventions and actively support in this unique and robust program for Micro and Small Enterprise Development.
This program we are launching today has elements and instrument that inspire hope and confidence that we can achieve the goals that the stakeholders have collectively set for ourselves. We as government and the Ministry in particular are committed to facilitate innovative interventions and reforms to support the MSE development and boost employment opportunities for our people, especially the youth and women.
The development and implementation of this program should utilize recent global and regional experiences to install and operate a well-customized model of entrepreneurship and enterprise development in Ethiopia. We should ensure that the models we apply and operationalize can and are indeed scaled up and replicated across the country for nation-wide impact. As we embark on the implementation of this programme, it is important that we keep in mind the added value of learning from experiences of our own and from other countries so that solutions we identify and practices we adopt are robust and sustainable in our own context.
Broadly, there are two populations that will be targeted. First, is the start-up entrepreneur who is generally armed with a foundational idea of what type of business they want to establish. Second, is the established entrepreneur with a small or medium enterprise who needs assistance to expand the existing enterprise or sees additional opportunities creating an entirely new enterprise.
Part of the first target beneficiary of the Entrepreneurship Development Centers and services provided by such centers shall be mainly the large number of graduates that come out of the tertiary institutions each year looking for jobs. It is the Government’s firm belief that these new graduate should not only be seeking jobs but they should also be able to create jobs for other citizens. The program shall run entrepreneurial skills training to enable them to look to self-employment as a more practical alternative. FeMSEDA, in collaboration with the TVET centers and Universities, has the mandate and readiness to comprehensively equip and train persons in technical and vocational skills.
Before I conclude my speech, I would like to thank UNDP, other development partners and FeMSEDA for their contribution in developing the programme and making this launch happen. Let me once again express the commitment of my Ministry and Government will make sure that the programme whose launch we are here to witness realizes our objectives. I would also want to encourage other development partners to join hands with government to support the rapid growth and development of the MSE sector, which is the backbone and foundation of the country’s industrial development and employment creation.
Thank you for your kind attention.