The Rockefeller Foundation has launched a seven-year digital jobs initiative to try and bridge the gap between the skills young Africans have to offer and those needed by African employers.
The foundation, with offices in New York, Kenya, Thailand and Italy, recently launched Digital Jobs Africa, a seven-year program to provide job opportunities and skills training for young people in digital sectors. With an eye on the future labor market, the program focuses on helping youngsters find work in information and communications technology, according to a report in SOS Childrens’ Villages.
Many nations in Africa are suffering from high unemployment. Large numbers of youngsters in some countries have no qualifications. In South Africa, for example, more than half of 18-to-24-year-olds have insufficient education, training or employment, with many having left school without any qualifications, according to a report by SOS Childrens’ Villages.
The foundation sponsors companies in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa to take on disadvantaged youth. In South Africa, it provided a grant to a training and job placement company in Johannesburg. Youngsters train in a fully-functional call center while gaining the necessary practical experience to get a foothold in the job market. As well as learning the skills to be a call center agent, the youngsters are encouraged to study part time.
Once the graduates get jobs, they are asked to fund another student from a deprived background. With this model, the training academy is more-than two-thirds self-funded, with plans to become completely self-funded in the future, according to the report.