A New Livelihood Option for Migrant Returnees in Bale, Oromia Regional State
Oromia Regional State (Ethiopia): The EU-IOM Joint Initiative (JI) programme handed over a community-based animal feed processing plant at Goba City in Bale Zone, Oromia regional state. The project was implemented by IOM in partnership with Madda Walabu University, a public university of the district. The plant was established on a 500 m2 modern facility, donated by the Goba City Administration.
Through this project, sustainable job opportunities will be created for 25 vulnerable migrant returnees, unemployed graduates and potential migrants in the community. Every three years a new group will be selected and will replace the previous one. This will also give access to affordable and quality animal feed to the community and enhances livestock productivity and food security for the people in the area.
Oromia is among Ethiopia’s regions with a high volume of irregular migrants and returnee migrants. Migrants from this region predominantly travel through the eastern corridor via Djibouti, heading to countries in the Middle East. In IOM’s 2022 Regional Data Hub report, Oromia continues to be the main region of origin for migrants on this route at 48%, followed by Amhara and Tigray regions.
“After my return from the Middle East, I continued my education and got a degree in Accounting. However, the limited employment opportunity in our area left me without a job for many months. Now I am self-employed and wake up every day with a purpose” said Ana, a member of the group engaged in the project.
On December 16, IOM officially handed over the animal feed plant to Madda Walabu University, which will manage the plant in partnership with the local government, emphasizing the need for their post-handover continued support to the youth. Beneficiaries, local community members, partner universities and local government partners attended the event, including key government partners from Oromia Regional Job Creation and Vocation Bureau and Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs.
The project is backed up by a local private company and supplier of the feed processing machinery, Electro MECCE Engineering P.L.C., with a generous donation of an additional machine and a guaranteed maintenance service for the next five years. The company confirmed its commitment to support similar initiatives with technical assistance and guidance.
“Unemployed and vulnerable youth migrate irregularly in search of opportunities and greener pasture. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, through its community based projects, aims to address the drivers of migration, provide livelihoods options for the youth, strengthen the resilience of migrant returnees and foster their inclusion and social cohesion in their communities of origin” said Sara Basha, coordinator of the programme.
Since 2017, the programme implemented 31 community-level interventions, benefitting more than 417,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regional states, and Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City Administrations.
About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative
Launched in December 2016 with the support of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the programme brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, along with the European Union and the International Organization for Migration, around the goal of ensuring that migration is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities.
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