Country Portfolio Sudan
CFYE launched a Call for Solutions in Sudan in 2020 to support private sector-led initiatives that tackle youth unemployment. The Call invited applications primarily focused on creating medium-skilled jobs in growth sectors as well as applications that aimed to develop innovative digitization solutions. Initiatives striving to match and improve jobs also formed a big part of the Call’s focus. The below portfolio represents all the selected partners in response to the Call for Solutions. Our Country Lead for Sudan is Ahmed Darwish.
Sudan’s Job Market & Youth
In Sudan, unemployment has increased significantly in recent years, affecting young people the hardest. According to recent estimates, young people are twice as likely to be unemployed as adults. This creates a bleak situation for the Sudanese youth, especially considering that over 60% of the Sudanese population is under 25.
Unemployment affects different categories of Sudanese youth, but more so those living in urban areas with higher education. Young women are facing extra barriers in finding decent work in Sudan as discrimination against women and girls in health, education, and economic participation limits their development opportunities.
Although women are less likely to participate in the labour force, those who do are more likely to be unemployed and those who work earn lower wages than men.
There is a very large informal economy in Sudan, with 85% of workers engaged in vulnerable employment and 60% of the labour force engaged in subsistence agriculture. Starting businesses struggle to get started in the formal economy because of the absence of regulations and support for entrepreneurship. This further hinders the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are already operating in a harsh economic environment. Both access to financial and non-financial resources are scarce for start-ups. With CFYE’s Call for Solutions in Sudan, we aim to help more businesses have the necessary resources to stimulate a decent work environment for the Sudanese youth.
Our Portfolio in Sudan
Sudanese youth is highly motivated and expresses a great desire for finding decent work. However, the country’s labour market allows minimal chances for young people to find meaningful employment. Combining youths’ aspirations with the needs of the business ecosystem in Sudan, we have developed a diverse portfolio that caters to the needs of the country’s labor supply and demand. Our portfolio consists of partners working in agri-business, manufacturing, setting up acceleration programs to help businesses grow, and initiating training centers to upskill Sudanese youth in ICT skills. These partnerships plan to realize more than 4.400 decent jobs. More than 2.300 of these projected jobs will be newly created jobs. Others will be accomplished through the other CFYE routes: matching and improving.
Over 2.700 of the planned jobs (more than 50%) in the portfolio will be for Sudanese women to help them increase their participation in the labour market.
We are very proud to see our partners tackle diverse employment issues, focused on improving the livelihoods of both urban and rural youth populations. Putting the youth’s voice in the center of their operations is a priority for each partner below.
CFYE’s grant will help us kick off the project and reach bigger scales, ultimately impacting more young people in Sudan. Not only will the fund enable us to establish and increase our financial capacity, but its technical assistance will lead to a well-developed and gender-sensitive business model.
CFYE’s grant will help us introduce the acceleration and equity investment-backed programs concept to the Sudanese ecosystem and increase the impact of already operating startups that not only create meaningful jobs for youth but also ensure the existing ones are improved.
CFYE’s support will enable us to build a well-established state-of-the-art training center with a vast capacity to fit many youths. Moreover, since our project mainly focuses on women, CFYE’s technical assistance in gender inequality and social inclusion will be essential for positive social impact.
With the support of CFYE, we can start our project as soon as possible, increasing food security in Sudan and boosting the local economy. The grant will especially help to cover the start-up costs. Investments are needed to build our nurseries and train farmers before we can generate revenue.