The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) has launched a digital technology platform, which is set to connect young people to employment, training and mentoring opportunities in its pan-African youth empowerment initiative, Youth Empowered for Success (YES!).
Over the next three years, the YES! technology platform will provide life skills training, business skills training and access to employment and mentoring for 25,000 young Africans.
Its simple interface and features that include access to personalized learning and connections to program partners from government, civil society and the private sector will provide participating youth with critical in-demand training and skills as well as access to jobs, internships, mentorships and other employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Built by TCCAF and its program partners, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and Kuza Biashara, the platform has been designed to support widely-available technology including SMS messaging and voice-based mobile devices and will also be available through devices at YES! program hubs.
The hubs in turn will be powered by solar panels and supported by standalone battery powered wireless internet devices. This will ensure that even the most disadvantaged youth between the ages of 18-35 will have access to critical YES! program services.
“Harnessing the talent and ambition of youth will be essential to Africa fulfilling its long-term potential, and we aim to help support this aspiration through Youth Empowered for Success. The launch of the new YES! digital platform is an important introduction in allowing us to reach more young people across Africa while rapidly scaling the program as it expands into new countries across the continent,” said Kelvin Balogun, Trustee, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and Business Unit President, Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa.
Launched in June 2015, the YES! initiative will initially empower marginalised youth in six countries through a $4.5 million TCCAF investment, while building technology and strategic partnerships to reach 500,000 youth by 2020.
The initiative is currently being introduced in Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia before also being implemented in Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda during phase one.
With the YES! initiative, TCCAF aims to help young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and thrive by connecting them to mentors and sources of capital.