Promotion of the private sector and employment

Project description

Title: Promotion of the private sector and employment in Yemen
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Yemen
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

+++ In the context of the corona pandemic, this project was extended to include measures that help to counteract the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. +++



Yemen is one of the world’s least-developed countries. As a result of the civil war, which has been raging since 2014, the already fragile economic and social situation has worsened even further. Imports into Yemen and the energy supply have almost completely collapsed. Many companies have had to close, and unemployment has increased further. 

The solar energy sector has been growing since 2015, and has partially compensated for energy shortages. It makes an important contribution to maintaining agriculture and the operation of micro and small enterprises. However, the quality of the systems in use needs improving.

Micro and small enterprises – not only in the solar power industry – generally do not have access to innovative financial services. They have little room for manoeuvre when they offer their products to potential buyers. The problem is particularly acute for women, as they often have no security for credit and lack basic financial knowledge.


In Yemen, income-generating opportunities and employability in selected value chains, particularly in the solar power sector, are improved.



The programme works with micro and small enterprises, and with jobseekers. It supports private sector actors with training courses and advisory services, especially in the areas of solar financing, information and communications technology and access to financial services.

The implementation primarily concentrates on areas in and around the cities of Sana’a and Aden. The partner organisations are selected carefully and with conflict-sensitivity in mind, taking a do-no-harm approach. The approach formulates ground rules for the conflict-sensitive implementation of activities, especially in crisis regions.

Due to the complex political conditions and the fragile security situation, the project is managed from Germany. Nevertheless, staff from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH ensure implementation continues in the field in Yemen. They maintain the close working relationships with the partner organisations and project beneficiaries.

The programme operates in three fields of action:

  • Field of action 1
    Here, the focus is on improving the support services available for start-up founders and local micro and small business owners in selected value chains, especially in the solar power sector. The actors are given access to networking services, for example through newly founded dialogue platforms in Sana’a and Aden.
  • Field of action 2
    Microfinance institutions (MFI) are supported in developing services, particularly for the solar power sector. The programme advises on technology and process development (for example by means of market studies, training courses and coaching sessions), thus facilitating the market launch and sale of new products. In parallel, training courses on basic financial skills are developed further and held in order to empower the borrowers, especially women.
  • Field of action 3
    Young people are offered training that is aligned to the needs of micro and small enterprises. The offers are more closely geared to the training market and labour market. Non-formal learning opportunities are also included. Young people are trained to install and maintain solar power systems and in the IT field. People who are just starting out on the job market receive career advice and help with job hunting. The project advises and finances employment agencies, chambers of commerce and industry, and – where appropriate – local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and training providers.


In March 2020, it became clear that Yemen would be particularly badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. An immediate response was required.

  • The authorities in Sana‘a ordered 280,000 protective masks via an NGO. Young people participating in vocational training measures were additionally taught to produce masks. This enabled them to tap into new income-generating opportunities.
  • Ongoing training courses switched to virtual learning. The training staff responsible for the programme in Yemen adjusted the didactic methods and content to digital formats so that the majority of training courses are able to continue.

Last update: September 2020


Further Information