Project Type

Facts & Figures


Aboisso, Soubré, and Abengourou




Youth aged 15 to 30 living in cocoa-farming communities


  • Partner NGO facilitators
  • Cooperative facilitators
  • Community youth leaders


Community centers


  • Adapted learning and training manuals
  • Trained facilitators and leaders
  • Active youth clubs
  • Committed communities and cooperatives


Share this project:

About the project

The Unlock the Potential of Youth in Cocoa-growing Communities project seeks to address key employment and education challenges young people face in rural cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire.


Côte d’Ivoire hosts 40% of the world’s cocoa production, a market with considerable socio-economic potential. Due to a lack of access to good agricultural practices and financial services, farms are producing sub-optimally with reduced outputs. The industry is also facing critical human resource challenges due to a combination of changing demographics and migration of young people. The emerging generation does not see farming as a business opportunity with a future.


There is an urgent need for the cocoa industry to demonstrate how the sector can provide a rewarding and secure profession for young people that will help them thrive and improve their quality of life. Aflatoun has developed a greater understanding of industry best practices, educational requirements, and life skills necessary for the next generation of entrepreneurs to establish prosperous cocoa businesses.

The project provides young people aged 15–30 with life skills and financial education. It aims to help these young people build foundational skills required to increase their prospects in agriculture in general, and cocoa farming in particular, either as farming entrepreneurs or as income-earning employees.

Results to date

In an initial pilot in 2018–2019 targeting four communities in the Maféré region of Côte d’Ivoire (Toliesso, Affienou, Kotoka, and Ngouankro), 10 clubs of 30 youth were created across all the communities with, on average, 46 percent young women participants. The beneficiaries benefited from a comprehensive cocoa and agriculture-based social and financial literacy program. Content varied from basic life skills lessons and mixed cropping and micro-enterprising sessions to sourcing of capital, budgeting, and saving. The external evaluation of the project conducted by IPA concluded that “the project addresses an important need in cocoa communities, which is low access to financial services and poor perceptions of agriculture. The project achieved most expected outputs and outcomes, increasing savings behavior and strengthening knowledge and attitudes around the cocoa value chain.” This allowed the project to earn a conditional recommendation for scale-up.

Scientific evidence

Aflatoun’s model is backed by solid evidence, including randomized control trials and extensive research and evaluation, showing that children and youth trained learn about money, change their personal attitudes and financial behavior, and practice the lessons learned while engaging in enterprises.

Results from a program in Ghana indicate that:

  • 32% of participants understood the local farming systems and Ghana’s cocoa value chain compared to 4% of nonparticipants;
  • 68% of participants gained a good understanding of savings compared to 25% of nonparticipants;
  • participants acted as mentors/coaches to other people by helping them develop their own thinking (39% of participants compared to 15% of non-participants);
  • participants had a better understanding of diversity and global citizenship as well as democracy, participation, transparency, and climate change.

Get Involved