Bahir Dar, March 21, 2023 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s youth activity, Kefeta, celebrated a “Youth for Peace Festival” at the Mulualem Cultural Center in Bahir Dar. The festival was organized in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women and Social Affairs (MoWSA), regional bureaus in Bahir Dar, and the Bahir Dar City Administration.
More than two thousand young people from Bahir Dar, Dessie, Kombolcha, Debere Birhan, Jimma, Gambella, Harar, Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, Semera, Logia, and Assosa attended. They learned about youth-owned businesses and health and financial services; they participated in a peace forum with intergenerational dialogue; and they heard inspiring stories from young changemakers. Two talent shows and a concert, featuring local musicians, offered entertainment.
The “Youth for Peace Festival,” is part of USAID’s Kefeta activity, launched in March 2022, which is lifting up millions of youth across Ethiopia. The five-year initiative will help youth in 18 cities gain improved access to health, education, economic, and civic opportunities. The festival promoted intercultural understanding and created a platform for increased private sector engagement and civil society support for youth development. The mayor of Bahir Dar, H.E Dr. Dires Belay, officially opened the festival, alongside USAID/Ethiopia Deputy Mission Director Adam Schmidt. The mayor called for all actors to contribute to the social and economic development of the next generation.
At the end of April, Kefeta is planning a national youth festival in Addis Ababa. This will be a two-day event to host youth from all regions of the country at Millennium Hall. The festival’s goal is to inspire young people to contribute to positive change in their communities. Activities such as the Bahir Dar Festival will engage youth voices and empower the next generation to take part in Ethiopia’s resilience and peace-building processes.