Digital Jobs Africa
Connecting Africa's rapidly growing youth population with sustainable employment opportunities.
Africa’s economies are growing at an unprecedented pace—and so is its youth population. Job creation is not keeping up with the youth bulge: By 2050, 400 million people under the age of 25 will be in need of sustainable employment if the continent can expect to continue along its growth trajectory.
The rise of the information communications technology (ICT) sector—as well as the adoption of business outsourcing practices that intentionally hire underemployed demographics such as youth—provide a clear opportunity to right the course.
In 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation launched its Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) initiative to catalyze new, sustainable employment opportunities and skills training for Africa youth, with a focus on the ICT sector. Our goal is to positively impact 1 million lives in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, and ultimately, improve the social and economic well-being of entire families, communities, and nations.
DJA’s approach focuses on three pathways:
- Building favorable business environments that will lead to the creation of new digital jobs in diverse sectors, including retail and hospitality, and the emerging e-government sector.
- Engaging the private sector to prioritize the hiring of young people for these jobs, in part through the growth of “impact sourcing.”
- Working with job training providers to ensure youth has the needed skills to take on these opportunities.
To ensure these efforts are sustained, we work in close partnership with actors from the private sector, government, civil society and the development community.
The Rockefeller Foundation has been at the leading edge of advancing “impact sourcing,” a practice through which companies, both African-based and multi-national, intentionally employ people who have limited opportunities for sustainable employment, often in low-income areas.
Studies show that incomes for young people in Africa hired through impact sourcing can increase by 40 to 200 percent. At the same time, companies that utilize impact sourcing can spend 40 percent less than others, because of lower training costs and lower attrition.
A report by the Monitor Group, Job Creation through Building the Field of Impact Sourcing, provides an analysis of the impact sourcing sector and its potential to create jobs of poor and vulnerable individuals worldwide. A report by the William Davidson Institute, Assessing the Impact Sourcing Sector gives an overview of the impact sourcing sector within the context of the broader business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and examines the current challenges the sector faces, and its future outlook.
Two reports by Accenture explore both the demand and supply side of the impact sourcing sector. The first report, Exploring the Value Proposition for Impact for Impact Sourcing, investigates the value proposition of impact sourcing with recommendations to multi-national businesses. A second report, Recruiting Talent for Impact Sourcing Growth develops a recruitment, training and impact measurement approach for impact sourcing in order to support the future growth of this industry.
The policy landscape for impact sourcing is explored in a report by Avasant entitled Incentives & Opportunities for Scaling the Impact Sourcing Sector. This report showcases case studies of best-practice policies and incentives for the sector and recommendations for governments to implement in order to scale impact sourcing.
Can impact sourcing achieve both business and social impact?
Not only does impact sourcing benefit the worker—who might not have other means of employment—it helps connect…, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Companies can achieve both business and social impact through impact sourcing, which focuses hiring opportunities…, Managing Director, Africa, The Rockefeller Foundation
There are challenges to scaling Impact Sourcing. On the supply side, there is a need to cost effectively build…, Former Associate Director
Impact sourcing is an established phenomenon that offers access to previously untapped talent pool, lower attrition…, Practice Director, Everest Group