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Rockefeller Foundation invests $100 million in Digital Jobs Africa

May 16, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a new Foundation initiative that will focus on Africa’s youth and employment, called Digital Jobs Africa.

Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Wireless Founder (image source: file photo)

Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation was joined by Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman of Econet Wireless and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office, and Phumla Langa, Student at the Impact Sourcing Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s nearly $100 million investment in Digital Jobs Africa will impact one million people in Africa through jobs and skills for youth in the information communication technology (ICT) sector who would not otherwise have an opportunity for sustainable employment.

The Digital Jobs Africa initiative builds on three years of the Foundation’s existing work and will focus on high potential youth who lack access to jobs and economic opportunities. The initiative, led out of the Foundation’s Africa Regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, will continue on for the next 7 years and leverage significant funds and support from other stakeholders.

Digital Jobs Africa will seize upon the opportunity created by the youth bulge in Africa and the phenomenal rise of the ICT sector to create sustainable job opportunities for African youth. Through a series of complimentary activities that include catalyzing the impact sourcing sector, skills training, and growth of other digital job opportunities, the initiative will aim to meet its goal of impacting one million people.

Africa has the youngest population in the world today, with the number of people between age 15 and 24 expected to double to 400 million by 2045. Sixty percent of young people in Africa are unemployed, and youth unemployment rates are double those of adult unemployment in most African countries.

“Digital Jobs Africa recognizes the enormous talent pool of young people in Africa who lack access to quality sustainable employment opportunities – and seeks to catalyze opportunities to close that gap,” said Dr. Rodin.

“As the Rockefeller Foundation celebrates our Centennial year and looks to our second century, we are supporting innovative ways to advance our century long commitment to improve the lives of poor or vulnerable people across Africa. Innovative, energetic and better informed African youth have the potential to drive economic growth and development, and this new initiative will marry that potential with the growth of technology to increase much needed employment opportunities.”

To achieve the goal of impacting one million people, Digital Jobs Africa will bridge the gap between the supply of high potential job seekers who need both technical and soft skills to be work ready and companies seeking talent to service their expanding business needs.

Staff writer

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