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Training Models for Employment in Africa’s Digital Economy

Results for Development (R4D) has recently published a report with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Training Models for Employment in the Digital Economy. A core component of our Digital Jobs Africa Initiative is training high potential but disadvantaged youth for work in the digital economy. Training that is linked to job opportunities is fundamental to reaching our goal of impacting one million people in Africa.

The report highlights four critical elements of training models that lead to positive employment outcomes for trainees. First, training models should be demand-driven, meaning they are responsive to employer needs by teaching the specific skills required by industry. Next, it’s critical for this skills training to include both information and communications technology (ICT), and non-cognitive skills training, like problem solving, communications, and team work. A third factor is the existence of post-training support and job placement to help trainees secure employment. And finally, ICT training programs that include multiple stakeholders have greater potential for scale, so successful partnerships could include a combination of the private sector, government, and nonprofits.

Currently, two grantee partners of Digital Jobs Africa are recognized for their models, the Paradigm Initiative and Education for Employment.

In Nigeria, the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) orchestrated an awareness campaign to promote the availability of online work to Nigerian youth, and then help them access the available work. The project was established in 2007 and has worked from Ajegunle, one of the largest informal settlements in Lagos State, to connect Nigerian youth with ICT-enabled opportunities. The project provides demand-driven ICT, entrepreneurship and life skills training after which graduates are connected to internships and small businesses. Through Rockefeller Foundation support, PIN is expanding their successful training program to cover other locations across Nigeria. PIN’s networks include both public and private sector partners including Microsoft, DHL, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the Nigerian Ministry of Communications Technology.

Digital Jobs and Computers

Education for Employment (EFE), funded by the Foundation through the Digital Jobs for Moroccan Youth project, is providing 760 youth with skills and greater access to digital jobs in Morocco. By expanding EFE’s blend of soft skills training with French language, and ICT training in digital literacy or computer programming—specifically  for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector—this holistic approach enables youth to apply their existing skills in new and diverse contexts. EFE’s multi-stakeholder partnership model that engages private sector employers prior to the start of training, providing necessary social capital to make job-placement for graduates in real jobs possible.

In Morocco, EFE and its global partner Accenture blended market research to validate job growth in the IT/BPO sectors and engage individual employers to secure job commitments. Partnerships with Morocco’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Employment Agency (ANAPEC), Office of Vocational Training (OFPPT), and local universities support the transfer of knowledge from the project to the formal education system.

Read the full report to learn more about these models and others:

Download the Report

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