Microsoft, AfDB Collaborate to Scale Youth Employment in Africa

Microsoft, AfDB Collaborate to Scale Youth Employment in Africa (News Central TV)

The cooperation between Microsoft and the African Development Bank, AfDB, has grown, allowing young entrepreneurs in 54 African nations to gain access to capital, software, hardware, and skills to expand their businesses.

Microsoft will collaborate with the bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks, YEIB, Initiative through its African Transformation Office, ATO, to build youth entrepreneurship ecosystems, generate employment, and significantly increase the effect in Africa through digital inclusion.

After the effects of COVID-19, the cooperation is anticipated to reduce the strain on unemployment, particularly for young people in African states.

“We believe much can be done to help foster youth entrepreneurship by collaborating with the African Development Bank, driving greater economic inclusion for this key segment of the population, and ultimately building a more prosperous society,” said Cluster Wael Elkabbany, General Manager of Microsoft Africa Regional.

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Cluster Wael Elkabbany, General Manager of Microsoft Africa Regional

According to statistics, despite about 12 million young Africans entering the workforce each year and just over three million jobs being generated due to stagnant employment rates, the continent’s young population is expected to quadruple to 850 million by 2050.

“Already we’ve seen considerable success partnering together on initiatives such as Coding for Employment, which aims to equip millions of African youth with employable skills, ultimately creating broad scale employment,” added Elkabbany.

Furthermore, the cooperation will help the creation of national institutions using a public-private partnership model in order to scale up technical and financial support for young entrepreneurs and increase their ability.

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On the other hand, the AfDB will bring together the necessary financial and non-financial stakeholders and partners to play their respective roles in assisting young business owners through coaching, mentoring, and knowledge and experience exchange through YEIB.

“The strengthening of our partnership with Microsoft on the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) is an important development in our journey towards harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend and facilitating the creation of millions of jobs for young Africans by 2025. The initiative places much-needed focus on youth entrepreneurship, which is key to achieving our ambitious employment targets,” said Solomon Quaynor, AfDB Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization.

Microsoft will develop effective infrastructure models to help bridge the digital gap through connectivity solutions like Microsoft Airband, connecting selected kids to economic opportunity and employable skills.

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Through the creation of access to curated learning content, certifications, business solutions, business skills, and specialized digital skills as well as the ability to buy Microsoft technology at a reduced price, the two companies will work to promote SME digital literacy and business skills.

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