Promoting employment in Africa through public-private cooperation

Project description

Title: Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the companies Quoniam Asset Management, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell, Sasol and Tullow Oil plc
Partner: Asanko Gold Inc.; Fruittiland Ltd.; Golden Star Resources; Japan Motors Group; Northlite Solar; Olam Ghana Limited; Samsung Electronics West Africa Ltd.; Acacia EPZ Ltd.;Base Titanium; Equity Bank (in cooperation with Miramar Foundation); Housing Finance Foundation; Kenya Association of Manufacturers; Kenya Federation of Master Builders; Ascending; Botanica; Creative Contracts; Imperial Health Sciences/ Unjani Clinics NPC; Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce (JCCI); Mondi Ltd; Standard Bank Group; Vodacom Pty Ltd.; Jumeme Rural Power Supply Ltd.; Association of Uganda Gas and Oil Service Providers (AUGOS); Absa Group Limited; Stanbic Bank; UGACOF Limited; Ugandan Manufacturers Association; Total East Africa Midstream B.V., Shell E&P Tanzania Ltd. (selection)
Lead executing agency: Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa: Ministry of Trade and Industry/Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa; Kenya: Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development; Uganda: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development; Tanzania: Prime Minister’s Office Labour, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disability.
Overall term: 2015 to 2023

Intranet Artikel 1


Africa’s working-age population is projected to increase from 705 million in 2018 to almost 1 billion by 2030, placing increasing pressure on governments and the private sector to provide more and better jobs. Economic growth, abundant natural resources and a growing young population offer great potential for sustainable development on the continent. The private sector is a driving force in economic development and thus a key stakeholder in creating jobs and incomes. 

The six partner countries differ politically and economically, but face similar employment challenges. In South Africa, very high youth unemployment and a lack of jobs greatly hinder development. And despite the low official unemployment rates in other partner countries, underemployment and precarious working conditions are common. Many people do not have regular employment contracts or a regular wage and are frequently exposed to health risks in the workplace. Major (international) investments have created a demand for local workers, but a lack of qualified local experts and (supplier) companies prevails. This means the population and companies are unable to fully benefit from employment and development opportunities.


Public-private cooperation has improved the employment and economic situation of job seekers, employees and companies.

Intranet Artikel 2


E4D takes an integrated approach to promoting employment, with a focus on providing more training courses on demand-driven technical skills. Its aims also include making small and medium-sized businesses more competitive, so they can meet the growing demand for suppliers and services. And it undertakes to match young people with available jobs. 

E4D sets up partnerships with the public and private sector in the areas of vocational education and training, vocational preparation and placement, concentrating on industries with a high employment potential, which vary depending on the partner country. 

The programme collaborates with companies to develop training courses on a wide variety of skills, as well as teaching vocational preparation and placement services (for example, how to arrange internships for students at vocational schools). Local companies receive training to enhance their expertise in areas like tender management, human resources management, financial management or environmental and health standards. Steps are also taken to network companies with one another. This not only gets local businesses involved as producers and suppliers, it also improves their position on the market. 

The programme has had success in promoting cooperation at regional level, expanding this to other public and private sector partners with long-term implementation in mind. Sustainability is also promoted, as cooperation with the private sector is specifically anchored in the public structures of the partner countries. One example of this is regular public-private dialogue forums.

Intranet Artikel 3


  • Altogether, 32,326 people have found employment (35 per cent women and 47 per cent young people). Incomes have been increased by at least ten per cent for more than 70,000 people (45 per cent women and 37 per cent young people). 
  • Since 2015, the project has implemented 68 cooperation measures with international and African partner companies, while mobilising more than 24 million Euros as additional contributions from the private sector. 
  • Around 63 per cent of the measures have reached the poor and marginalised population. 
  • Measures in the area of health and safety at work have led to improved working conditions for more than 32,000 people (of which 43 per cent are women). 
  • Various training programmes have supported more than 35,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). 
  • In vocational education and training, 39 training courses have been created or adapted and implemented in cooperation with public or private training institutions.

Last update: December 2020


Further information