AfricaWorking, a new initiative by Barclays Africa, Emerging World, FranklinCovey, Knod, Safal Group, Microsoft and Syngenta is set to support 200,000 youth and 50,000 entrepreneurs. The new association will seek to channel the collective power and voice of the private sector in order to make an impact on employability and entrepreneurship in Africa.
AfricaWorking will start supporting youth and entrepreneurs in Kenya and South Africa but it hopes to work across the continent by 2020. It will leverage existing approaches and two bespoke engines to help get youth career and business ready and create a pipeline of recruitable talent for member companies. Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy 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 learnings and build human capital on a pan-Africa scale.”
Charles Reed, General Manager for Community Investment for Barclays Africa added that,
“By 2045, Africa’s labour market is projected to be the biggest in the world. 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 initial platforms for AfricaWorking will use YouthWorks, a Microsoft entrepreneurship platform that links yoyth to training, mentors, small business support and access to finance and an employability platform powered by Knod. The members will use this platform to create their talent platform and shape the skilled employee where and when they need them. Real world projects that form the basis of this platform will be used.
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