Ethiopia | Value Chains for Economic Growth in Ethiopia (VCEGE) / Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-business (EMERTA)
Despite rapid economic growth during the past decade (averaging 10.8% growth/year) 87% of Ethiopians live on less than USD $2 per day. More than 80% of the population live in rural areas where most households are engaged in small scale, frequently subsistence, agriculture. In 2015 the government of Ethiopia released its second Growth and Transformation Plan which lays out ambitious plans designed to move the country to middle income status by 2025. Agriculture and mining are two sectors of the economy that the government will focus on to drive growth. In order for this growth to have broad, inclusive impact, small-scale producers, particularly women, must have greater opportunity to participate in the economy.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the East African Community benefit from liberalized regional trade but often lack the trade support, information and growth capital to take advantage of these opportunities. MEDA’s Invest East Africa project aims to address these challenges through fundraising and investing up to $40 million USD into SMEs engaged in or having the potential to expand trade in the region and through the creation of a technical assistance facility, which provides Trade Innovation Grants (TIGs) to improve firm capacities to trade within the East African Community.
While Kenya is generally one of the more developed countries on the African content, high levels of inequality and poverty persist, especially in rural areas. Unemployment rates in Kenya are very high at 40%, with unemployment among youth particularly high at 70%. While many job opportunities exist in Nairobi, limited opportunities exist outside of the capital.
Cassava is a vital crop for millions of smallholder farmers in Tanzania. Cassava has shifted in status from a survival crop to a staple crop and now to a commercial crop generating an economically sustainable livelihood for farmers which is increasingly crucial to the agricultural transformation in Tanzania. Today, cassava farmers experience low productivity due to the use of low yielding varieties, poor agriculture practices and outbreaks of viral diseases which invest and destroy cassava plantings over large areas.
The ENGINE project will increase private sector investment leading to inclusive, broad-based economic growth in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). MEDA will be responsible to facilitate the growth and capacity building of a sustainable market for business development service (BDS) providers, resulting in at least 60 BDS providers becoming sustainable. MEDA will support the breadth of BDS services through the development of an eVoucher platform. ENGINE will also employ smart incentives to encourage BDS providers to work with women and youth-owned small-medium entrepreneurs (SMEs). Finally, MEDA will leverage the expertise of 24 North American-based business experts as volunteers in Tanzania.
Solving persistent health challenges requires ingenuity and energy. Seasonally dependent diets, poor in micronutrients, are often inadequate in supplying daily requirements of essential vitamins. Chronic deficiencies in these micronutrients can lead to severe malnutrition, causing growth stunting and increased susceptibility to disease. In Tanzania, the Government announced its intention to expand production and consumption of fortified foods to conquer these nutritional deficiencies.The purpose of the Masava project is to address Vitamin A deficiency in rural Tanzania by enabling private sector small and medium enterprise (SME) sunflower oil processors to fortify unrefined sunflower oil with Vitamin A. The project is focused on in two regions in Northern Tanzania that have high levels of Vitamin A deficiency and will target the most vulnerable populations; lactating women and children under 5 years old.
The project aims to contribute to Tanzania’s economic growth and increase job creation by sustainably improving the business performance of small, growing businesses (SGBs) and small entrepreneurs (SEs). MEDA will work with local partners to provide business development services and support market development. MEDA will also help financial institutions improve access to financial services in the extractives, agri-food, logistics, construction, manufacturing and financial services sectors.
MEDA is providing technical advisory services to the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) with the goal of creating a functional cassava seed system in Uganda.