Kenyan youth will benefit from a Sh455 million investment targeting six African countries through training in business, life skills and employment.
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) has announced a Sh455.7 million (USD4.5 million) investment across six countries, to train and connect young people to employment opportunities.
The first phase of TCCAF’s Youth Empowered for Success (YES!) initiative will be tried out in Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia.
The programme seeks to provide life skills training, business skills training and access to employment and mentoring for 25,000 young Africans over the next three years. The TCCAF investment will eventually reach 500,000 youth by 2020.
The YES! program is being introduced in partnership with Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and Kuza Biashara in the three countries before being implemented in Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda.
“The rapid pace of technology adoption across Africa presents significant opportunity for private sector, civil society and government partners to engage with youth in new ways while building the skills and connections that are essential for employment,” Kelvin Balogun, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and Business Unit president for Central, East and West Africa said.
In Kenya young people will be taught life skills along with market-driven technical and business skills by Mercy Corps.
They will also receive online training through the YES! technology platform which is being rolled out in Nairobi County. The participants will also access offline training.
It will help the youth register their businesses and benefit from the government tender policy that prioritizes youth, women and people with disabilities.
They will also be linked to jobs and business or micro-franchise opportunities in growth segments of the Kenyan economy, such as the construction, agriculture, renewable energy and hospitality sectors.
The platform is targeting both young people who live in remote locations and those with limited literacy skills and is designed to support SMS messaging and voice-based mobile devices and will also be available through devices at YES! program hubs.
The hubs-retail and social service centres owned and run by the trained youth, will be powered by solar panels and supported by standalone battery powered wireless internet devices.
The digital platform offers a simple interface and features that include access to personalized learning and connections to program partners from government, civil society and the private sector.
This ensures participating youth can gain critical in-demand training and skills as well as access to jobs, internships, mentorships and other employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.