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Learn, Earn and Save (U-LEARN II)

The U-LEARN II Project seeks to support youth by providing them with tailor-made training opportunities to increase their employment chances and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Education significantly influences a person’s life chances in terms of labour market success and general human flourishing. The opportunity to get a decent education is limited for many young people in Tanzania and Uganda. In Tanzania, approximately 80.5% of the population have reached primary school level or have no formal education at all. Majority of those who go into the labour markets have little or no formal training. Only about 20% of annual graduates from academic and technical institutions get into employment. This is coupled with constraints like limited technical and entrepreneurial skills, controlled market information and access, lack of innovativeness and inadequate financial services. In Uganda, the chance to get a decent education is limited for many young people due to lack of opportunity. Many of the poor work as daily labourers in informal settings. More often than not, the chance of starting a profitable business or being employed in the formal industry is pinned on an individual’s level of education.

The Project

The U-LEARN II Project targets economically, socially and academically disadvantaged youths between the ages of 18 and 24 years from families living below or slightly above the national poverty line of US$ 1.90.  It is implemented in 11 districts in the Central, Eastern and Western regions of Uganda and 14 districts in the Mwanza and Mara regions of Tanzania. The project focuses on three broad sectors: agri-business, building and construction and tourism and hospitality. These sectors are fast growing and require more locally skilled personnel to meet demand and enhance growth. 

The project is guided by a unique youth and market-driven learning group model. Youth, particularly young women, are engaged in all aspects of the project, including design, implementation and management. Swisscontact acts as a market facilitator building capacity within local institutions to deliver relevant training, business and employment services to the youth. Through learning groups, Swisscontact offers a holistic package including technical and vocational skills training, business support services, market access and linkages, social and healthy living skills training and financial service support.

To sustainably raise 7 500 young people out of poverty in Uganda by increasing their competitiveness in the job market and improving their self-employment opportunities. 


Results in 2018

  • 3,305 unemployed youths (1,044 female) accessed skills training in the agribusiness, construction and hospitality sectors.
  • 1,428 youths successfully completed training and acquired skills.
  • 751  youths  (192  female)  from  42  learning  groups  were  trained  in entrepreneurship.  Each learning group developed a business plan.
  • 4,500   youths   were   introduced to mavuno   lending   and   saving methodology and financial literacy. 455 youths opened bank accounts mainly with Centenary Bank in Uganda and the National Microfinance Bank in Tanzania.
  • The 2018 National Agribusiness Innovation Challenge was organised in Uganda by Swisscontact,   in   partnership   with   the   Consortium   for enhancing  University  Responsiveness  to  Agribusiness  Development (CURAD). 25 winners were awarded cash prizes ranging between CHF 544 and CHF 1,767 across eight innovative agribusiness categories.

Project partner

Tanzania and Uganda

  • Local Government Authorities
  • Private Sector Companies

Project files

Project countries

  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Project duration

July 2016 – June 2021


  • The Mastercard Foundation

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org