Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (E4D)

Project description

Title: Employment for Development (E4D)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Cofinanciers: E4D: Quoniam Asset Management GmbH, Frankfurt; Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), European Union (EU); E4D/SOGA: Department for International Development (DfID), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Shell
Countries: E4D: Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda; E4D/SOGA: Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda
Overall term: 2015 to 2019



The regional programme makes a contribution to implementing the Africa Policy of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through cooperation with business, the programme promotes employment opportunities in seven African countries, while raising incomes and improving working conditions. As part of the BMZ Skills Initiative for Africa, young people in particular will benefit from training measures and additional job opportunities. Underemployment and youth unemployment as one cause for displacement and migration are central concerns in the current debate on how to tackle the root causes of displacement.


The employment situation in the seven target countries has improved in terms of quantity and quality through cooperation with the private and public sector partners: The number of people employed has increased by 40,000. The inflation-adjusted incomes of 100,000 individuals have increased by an average of 10 per cent. At least 40,000 people benefit from improved working conditions.



Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (Employment for Development, E4D)
E4D’s approach focuses on sectors with great employment potential, such as agriculture, construction, infrastructure and the textile sector. It provides training above all in transferable job profiles and qualification standards that can be used across all sectors of the economy.

Capital-intensive development impetus is used to contribute towards broad economic growth, for instance resulting from investments in natural resources to establish local supplier sectors and provide young people in the construction sector with qualifications as tradespeople and welders. The programme also encourages the transition to developing an environmentally compatible, forward-looking green economy, in renewable energies for example. For this purpose, its activities include developing curricula for training solar technicians.

E4D works with businesses in public-private partnerships. The enterprises are decisive in achieving the employment objectives. They provide information and planning data on the sector demand for qualifications, products and services in their value chains. They offer training and internship placements within their business, advise local suppliers, provide ICT solutions and technical expertise or contribute funds to the partnership. In some cases, the cooperation framework for these measures is the proven instrument of development partnerships with the private sector – new forms of cooperation with businesses and associations are tested.

E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa
The E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa initiative is a co-financed initiative with a focus on promoting employment within the realm of international investment in natural resources. It is part of the E4D programme and, among other things, supports industry-related training courses in the extractive industry and associated sectors in Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.
Recent examples in other African countries have shown that an abundance of natural resources does not automatically lead to development on a broad scale, but can in fact hamper it. If a monostructure emerges in the economy along with a growing dependence on foreign-currency income from extractive revenues without creating jobs for the population, this leads to a high level of unemployment and a lack of prospects. E4D/SOGA by contrast creates prospects by using investments in the extraction of natural resources as impetus to diversify the economy, thereby reducing the dependence on minerals and fossil energy sources.

In Kenya, E4D/SOGA is introducing competence-based modular courses in cooperation with the Technical University of Mombasa and the Technical University of Kenya for five occupations, including electricians and welders. Together with universities and business associations, the programme offers internship placements at businesses for graduates from vocational colleges and unskilled employees, thereby significantly increasing their employability for local enterprises.

In cooperation with an umbrella industry organisation 60 managers of 30 Ugandan companies are being trained in international safety standards in Uganda. The training aims at improving the capability of Ugandan companies to submit tenders to international companies in the resource or construction sector or for the manufacture of protective clothing. International tenders can significantly increase the Ugandan companies’ profits and size, resulting in more jobs.

In cooperation with the international organisation Aga Khan Foundation, 5,000 smallholders in the rural south of Tanzania are receiving support in raising their productivity and incomes. The focus is on agricultural products for which there is direct demand from local and international companies for local supplies.


The results of the partnerships will not materialise in full until the measures have been completed. By January 2018, 8,144 people found employment, the income of 34,524 employees was raised and working conditions improved for 10,271 people.


Ghana. Women are receiving qualifications for technical careers in the growing market for small-scale solar applications and motorcycles and support in setting up start-up companies. There is employment potential in sales and distribution, services and technical maintenance and repairs. The partners are Japan Motors, NorthLite Solar, Deng, Mole Projects & Machinery and Quoniam Asset Management. The objective is for at least 380 women to find employment.

Kenya. In cooperation with Kenya’s Strathmore University, the curricula for renewable energy technicians have been developed further. 452 solar technicians, energy efficiency managers and assistants have found job placements.