Client: First Consult/Mastercard Foundation

Duration: 2021-2025

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Ethiopia

Solutions: Economic Growth

As Ethiopia aspires to reach middle-income status by 2025, the country is investing heavily in building and operationalizing industrial parks with the expectation that they will help drive structural transformation and export-led economic growth. With the labor force expanding by 2 million each year, direct job creation within factories won’t be enough. Thus, equally important to direct employment creation is the potential to develop micro, small, and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and create jobs for hundreds of thousands of youth engaged in them. With the right support system in place and knowledge and skills transferred to MSMEs, there is an immense market linkage opportunity for MSMEs with industrial parks and other enterprises outside of the parks.

Through supporting industrial park job creation and market linkage between the parks and MSMEs, the BRIDGES program supports the creation of close to 600,000 youth jobs (80 percent women) and 15,000 MSMEs, with 300,000 unemployed young people trained.

BRIDGES, funded by the Mastercard Foundation, is implemented by First Consult and DAI. DAI’s role is to provide capacity-building services, such as support in financial management, to ensure that First Consult is operating with compliant, effective processes conducive to good management of the BRIDGES program. The program focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of the industrial sector to attract qualified workers and will offer support to existing MSMEs.

BRIDGES is part of MasterCard’s ‘Young Africa Works’ program using youth employment as a measure of progress, working to help millions of young people find a pathway out of poverty.


Sample Activities

  • Provide program management and best practice support and training, including:
    1. Implementation of internal review, approval, and documentation methodologies and tools.
    2. Review of process flow and templates currently being used by BRIDGES (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
    3. Facilitating experience-sharing opportunities with similar programs in other countries.
  • Provide support for recruitment, compliance, project management software (if applicable), health and safety/safeguarding, human resources, and ISO to develop bespoke BRIDGES materials, including:
    1. Anti-harassment and discrimination
    2. Workplace violence
    3. Workplace safety
    4. Conflicts of interest
    5. Compliance and grant management
    6. Conducting due diligence of partners and service providers
    7. Review of compliance and risk processes and materials.
  • Technical input in the implementation of the BRIDGES contract, including review and support on the design of key strategies and implementation modalities of selected interventions.


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