AfricaWorking is set to support 250,000 youths and 50,000 entrepreneurs across Africa with its initial recipients coming from South Africa and Kenya.
This is a new initiative by Microsoft, Barclays Africa, Emerging World, FranklinConvey, Knod, Safal Group and Syngenta. This association has as its key aim to channel the collective power and voice of the private sector to make an impact on employability and entrepreneurship in Africa. The goal is to cut across the entire continent by 2020.
The Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy, Lutz Ziob laid much emphasis on the fact that large organizations are constantly on the look out for youth skills development in diverse forms due to the impact it has on their business. The whole idea is to harness the efforts of these big corporations and nurture human capital on a PAN-AFRICAN scale.
” By 2045, Africa’s labour market is projected to be the biggest in the world. There is a great opportunity for us to engage the youth, help them develop relevant skills and find meaningful employment opportunities. Key to this is for us to collaborate and leverage technology where it makes sense to do so,” says Charles Reed, General Manager for Community Investment for Barclays Africa.
The Association will leverage existing approaches and two customized ‘engines’ to help get youth career- and business-ready, and create a platform for recruitable talent for member companies. The initial platform will leverage YouthWorks – a Microsoft entrepreneurship platform linking youth to training, mentors, small business support and access to finance – and an employability platform powered by Knod.
AfricaWorking members will use this platform to create their talent pipeline and shape the skilled employees when and where they need them, through real-world projects that form the basis of this innovative learning model.
” There is currently a significant mismatch between the skills youth have and the skills employers are looking for. Our goal is to connect workforce of competent employees”, said Graham Doxey, CEO and Founder of Knod.