Rural Youth Livelihood Opportunities and Impediments of Livelihood Strategy Choice in North Western Ethiopia

Wondale Temesgen Tedla


In Ethiopia, attempts made by youths and local government to diversify rural youths livelihood strategies are rare at operational level. Even few project launched for youths so far with the help of nongovernmental and governmental organizations are mostly failed. The failures of these projects are mainly attributed towards the start up of the business which held an assumption of nationwide livelihood opportunities and constraints disregarding local level peculiarities. As a result youths in rural areas become victim of unemployment which forced them to take other desperate options of rural-urban and international illegal migration. Hence, this study was meant investigate local level livelihood diversification strategy opportunities and the determinants of youth livelihood strategy choice in four selected districts of East Gojjam Zone of Amhara regional state, Ethiopia. Employing cross sectional mixed research approaches, data were gathered through survey and Key informant methods from a total of 388 sample and key informant interviewee recruited from eleven Kebeles of the four districts. Data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression, ranking methods and other descriptive statics. Findings revealed that youths in the study area are engaged in few finger counted income generating activities, among countless opportunities of on-farm off- farm and non- farm economic sectors available for rural youths. Youth are engaged not only in those livelihood strategies usually regarded as common, the strategies that they currently choose are extremely laborious and unproductive. The study further revealed that, the determinant factors behind youths participation in few laborious and less productive sectors are low educational status ,lack of access to institutional credit, lack of market linkage , poor information access, and  rural urban linkage, low total annual income, high dependency ratio in the family, long distance to the market center, poor road network and inaccessibility of transport facilities, and societal allocation of livelihoods on gender based criteria were found the significant determinant factor for youth livelihood strategy choice. Hence serious attention should be given for participatory approaches in identifying local level opportunities and in reducing youths' constraints for participating in diversified livelihood strategies.

Keywords: rural youth, livelihood strategy, livelihood diversification determinants, Gojjam, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/JPID/51-03

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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