The Oromia Region of Ethiopia has given coal mining site to 500 unemployed youth to mine coal and supply to nearby cement factories.
The youth have partnered with a local investor who provided equipment such as, excavator and loader and supplies the coal to cement factories. The state broadcaster ETV reported that the 500 youth will make 16 million per year, while the investors gets 13 million from the coal mining business.
The youth supply the coal to Ethio Mining and Trading Company. It is indicated that the coal mining business the youth engaged in enables the country to save the hard currency spent for importing coal for cement factories.
In Ethiopia youth unemployment has been a major challenge, which led to political unrest a few years ago, which includes vandalizing investments. The youth unrest mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions has forced the current regime to be engaged in a major economic and political reforms, which among other involves channeling the youth into decent jobs and helping them to use their natural resources fairly including land.
“Using the money we make from this mining project, we want to open factories and create jobs for other unemployed youth coming behind us,” said one of the beneficiaries of the coal mining project.
Recently it was reported that the price of cement in Ethiopia has doubled as most of the cement factories were not able to produce in full capacity because of the shortage of hard currency to import coal that will be used for running their machines. The latest report of Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Ethiopia shows that the total confirmed deposit of coal in Ethiopia is over 234 million tonnes.