The growth of the information communications technology sector in Africa has created a new wave of opportunity for young people seeking employment. The Impact Sourcing Academy (ISA), funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, is working to ensure women have access to those opportunities to improve their incomes and their communities.
Launched in Johannesburg and part of the Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa initiative to secure livelihoods and extend economic access to the next generation of potential African leaders, the goal of the ISA is to train unemployed youth to take advantage of jobs available in the growing South African call center industry and business process services sector. The Academy is a partnership between The Rockefeller Foundation, Aegis, and the Maharishi Institute, created by the Community and Individual Development Association in South Africa.
Since last year, 977 unemployed youth have been trained, with 627 already placed among 22 different employers.
Women’s advancement has been a driving force behind this success from the very start: the ISA campus features a women’s forum that provides zero-interest microfinance education loans for unemployed women so that when they graduate they can build meaningful career paths and get better jobs. Founded by women for women, the program also matches students with mentorship from successful women in key industry roles.
The lesson is clear, and it applies across the board: when you see women prospering and advancing, the rest of their communities are never far behind.