AfricaWorking is a new youth empowerment program created through a partnership between Barclays Africa, Emerging World, FranklinCovey, Knod, Microsoft, Safal Group, and Syngenta. The program is geared toward equipping some 200,000 youths and 50,000 entrepreneurs with skill relevant to the current job market and are demanded to pursue a successful entrepreneurship venture.
The Dean of Microsoft 4Africa Academy, Lutz Ziob said, “Most large corporations are looking at youth skills development in one form or another because it’s crucial to their business. The idea behind AfricaWorking is to bring these corporations together, align our efforts, share our learning and build human capital on a pan-African scale.”
The program will harness the collective power and voice of private organization to ensure candidate graduating from AfricaWorking will have top notch employable skills or the know-how to become successful entrepreneurs. The program will first roll out in Kenya and South Africa, with plans to roll out to the rest of the countries in Africa by 2020.
“By 2045, Africa’s labor market is projected to be the biggest in the world,” said Charles Reed, the General Manager for Community Investment at Barclays Africa. “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.”
The program is planning on using currently existing approaches and two other bespoke ‘engines’ to make their teaching as effective as possible. They also intend to create a stable pipeline of youth equipped with employable skills for the member companies.
The first platform by the program will leverage on YouthWorks; this is a Microsoft entrepreneurship platform giving youths training, mentorship, support for small businesses and even access to funds. Secondly, the platform will use another employability platform by Knod. The trainees will be taken through a learning process that will entail real-world projects.
“There is currently a significant mismatch between the skills youth have, and the skills employers are looking for. Our goal is to connect learners and employers in a unique 21st Century experience-based learning model, which develops skilled youth and an energized workforce of competent employees,” said Graham Doxey, the CEO, and Founder of Knod.