Rockefeller Foundation launches Digital Jobs Africa

Image source: The Rockefeller Foundation.Image source: The Rockefeller Foundation.The Rockefeller Foundation has launched a new initiative aimed at increasing youth employment in the ICT sector across six African countries

The Digital Jobs Africa initiative was announced by Rockefeller Foundation president, Dr. Judith Rodin, at the recent World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the next seven years, the initiative aims to create ICT jobs for disadvantaged young people in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

The initiative, which according to the Rockefeller Foundation will impact positively upon one million people, is focussing on these six Africa countries as they all have dynamic and growing services sectors and also offer the potential for continued ICT development.

The initiative will receive a budget of around US$100mn and the Rockefeller Foundation's partnerships and collaborations with the private sector, development organisations, civil society organisations and governments will be a critical to the initiative's success.

"Digital Jobs Africa is the next level of our work that we began three years ago to connect the talent pool of low-income, high-potential youth in Africa to sustainable employment opportunities, through the development of a new field we call Impact Sourcing," the Rockefeller Foundation said in a statement. "Building on this work, Digital Jobs Africa will continue to grow the Impact Sourcing sector, while identifying other opportunities for digital jobs by working and partnering with the private sector."

The Rockefeller Foundation will also work with local organisations to provide "demand-led skills training" to prepare young people for jobs in the ICT sector.

The initiative aims to provide young people with not only employment opportunities but also computational thinking, cognitive functioning and digital media literacy skills.

The Rockefeller Foundation said in its statement that the initiative will set in place a self-sustaining employment infrastructure that can go on to be coordinated by governments and business leaders, rather than being supported by philanthropic support.

"Digital Jobs Africa recognises the enormous talent pool of young people in Africa who lack access to quality sustainable employment opportunities - and seeks to catalyse opportunities to close that gap," Rodin was quoted as saying by Bizcommunity.com.

"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."

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