Africa will have the largest population of working age people in the world by 2040 - estimated at 1.2 billion. 30% of Africans today (or 300m people) are aged 18-26 and represent those who have recently completed formal education and who are entering the workforce. However, levels of unemployment among this group range from 5 to 50% across different countries in Africa (source: World Bank). Further, statistics indicate that over 53 million of Africa's 200 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are in unstable employment and 40 million young Africans are out of work. However, while 18 million of them are looking for a job, 22 million have already given up. As the demographic change is transforming the social and economic landscape in the developing world, economic and development policies do not adequately reflect the kind of changes demanded by this shift.
While this is the trend in general for most youth, the situation is even worse for the marginalized youth & the vulnerable community. If they are growing up in poverty and don't have good education, there is more chance that they will stay in poverty.
The Youth Empowered for Success (YES!) program designed by The Coca Cola Africa Foundation program and implemented by partners like Mercy Corps, Kuza Biashara, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and Microsoft provides the young Africans with market demand skills and access to employment & mentoring. The program is designed to leverage investment, technology and strategic partnerships to accelerate & scale the initiative across the continent.
The Program has been reaching the disadvantaged and vulnerable young people between the ages of 18 and 35 in Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda by skilling them with high impact market-driven skills which will help them gain access employment opportunities. The youth centered program has been implemented around Coca Cola Commercial Kiosks and Non-Commercial Hubs through CBO partners. Kuza successfully piloted Kuza’s proprietary Digital Offline Kit for the YES! Operations both in YES! Commercial Hubs & Non-Commercial Hubs practically eliminating the need for internet connectivity to impart training & learning programs by providing the “last mile connectivity.”
I have always been a hustler, moving from one business to another and with no one to help me or guide me. I never knew where I was going wrong and why my businesses failed. It was only when I was referred to the YES! Program that I got engaged with the Kuza Digital Platform. Suddenly, I got to learn so many things about business and how to make it work. I am implementing what I learnt and already seeing the benefits