NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – Kenya is among six African countries that will benefit from a Sh435.8 million initiative by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) towards a new youth empowerment initiative.
The Youth Empowered for Success (YES) program will provide life skills training, business skills training and access to employment and mentoring for 25,000 young Africans.
It will empower marginalised youths in six African countries, leveraging on technology and strategic partnerships to accelerate and scale the initiative to provide opportunities to many more youth across the continent.
The announcement was made by the foundation’s chairman Nathan Kalumbu during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Harnessing the incredible energy and ambition of a young and growing population will be critical to Africa’s future economic advancement. Over 10-12 million young Africans are entering the workforce each year yet less than half this number of employment opportunities are currently available. The YES! Initiative underscores our commitment to identifying a sustainable long-term solution for youth economic empowerment and creating opportunities that will help overcome this employment gap,” he said.
He stated that the Initiative will be introduced in Kenya, Tunisia and South Africa in phase one before being implemented in Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda
He pointed out that it will address critical development and life skills for 18-35 year old unemployed and underemployed young Africans, and provide access to sustainable economic opportunities created through employment or entrepreneurship.
He explained that the program aims to reach 500,000 youth by 2020 through establishing strong partnerships with private sector, NGO, government and civil society organizations.
“The Youth Empowered for Success initiative presents an exciting framework to help drive truly transformational change for young people in Africa. The potential to connect young people with the right opportunities to build better lives while strengthening their communities is incredibly compelling.” he said.
He indicated that it will focus on preparing the youth for jobs and provide high impact market-driven skills, in addition to connecting them to employment opportunities.
He stated that it will also strive to support them to succeed in jobs and entrepreneurship and drive collaboration with governments, private sector and civil society to provide an enabling environment to facilitate access to jobs for youth.
In each country, implementing teams will conduct youth-led assessments to identify opportunities and limitations in regional labour markets.
Additionally, the YES! program will pioneer an innovative new web and mobile technology platform in each country that will significantly expand access to all YES! services to thousands more youth.