Friday, January 7 2022

Africa is often said to be blessed with a ‘demographic dividend’ in the form of its extremely young population, but the question of whether the continent will succeed in reaping the potential economic benefits of this situation hangs in the balance after the devastating impact of the covid19 pandemic. The fact that young people represent a large and growing proportion of Africa’s overall population means that the ratio of those who are potentially economically active, to those who are not, promotes strong economic growth for decades to come. to come.

But that depends on the continent’s ability to generate enough jobs for young people to accommodate large numbers of new entrants into the labor market. Sadly, COVID-19 has delayed Africa’s progress on many fronts. According to the latest outlook from the International Monetary Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa, employment fell by about 8.5% in 2020, more than 32 million people were pushed into extreme poverty and disrupted education compromised the prospects of a generation of schoolchildren. African students missed 67 days of education due to school closures, more than four times the level in advanced economies. Catching up on this learning and developing skills for the labor market will be one of the great challenges on the way to the continent’s recovery. Skills development will increasingly need to be modular, to enable young people to fill learning gaps, and it will increasingly need to transcend the classroom setting through digital offerings.

A good example of this is CCBA’s own Learning Center, which is an online tool that all employees can use for self-directed learning and career development, and an investment in the personal growth of our employees. There are over 120 courses that are relevant to our business and help our team keep pace with the changing world of work – all they need to do is connect and learn. Our focus on developing young talent in our company extends further; we offer training programs for graduates as well as management training for young people who have already gained some experience. Solutions like this can make a critical contribution to improving the skills of young Africans and overcoming the learning gap caused by COVID-19.

Entrepreneurship is Key Coca-Cola’s youth empowerment programs are aimed at current or potential entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect to the Coca-Cola value chain now or in the future. To help increase the livelihoods of youth, the enabling activities of our programs include business skills training, access to finance, assets and mentorship. We focus on supporting skills development, especially for graduates who may need additional soft skills training that would make them more employable or help them in their entrepreneurial endeavors. The CCBA directly empowers thousands of young people each year through various programs in our markets, enabling their inclusion in the economy. One example is our youth empowerment program in South Africa, which aims to equip township youth with the skills and knowledge they need to run “Bizniz in a Box” spazas. Young people are selected for this program based on their entrepreneurial qualities and determination to succeed, and then go through a “boot camp” and on-the-job training that prepares them to run their own businesses.

Those who graduate are supported by a fully stocked and equipped point of sale and ongoing business development coaching. In Uganda, we partnered with Boundless Minds to create Elevate! Online youth mentoring program to support qualified but unemployed youth in their transition from school to work. The program has already attracted over 1,600 young people. CCBA Ethiopia has partnered with AIESEC – the world’s largest student organization to create a youth empowerment training program at Addis Ababa University and FB Campus. The program equips university students with the relevant soft skills to make them more employable after graduation. To date, the team has trained more than 476 young people.

Through a partnership with the non-profit organization WBM and the University of Dar es Salaam, we organized a business and entrepreneurship workshop for nearly 1,000 students in Tanzania. It aimed to develop additional entrepreneurial skills to help students become more attractive to future employers. In another South African initiative, CCBA and other companies helped establish a multi-million Rand Youth Development Center that has transformed the lives of hundreds of children living in Malusi, an informal settlement in Pretoria. West, popularly known as Gomorrah. The center offers state-of-the-art study facilities. Creating a Better Future At CCBA, we will continue to use our focus to help young people become architects of their own success, resulting in increased economic value and business capacity not only for themselves, but for their communities and our country. trading system. We realize that by investing in the growth of the communities in which we operate, we are investing in building our own businesses.

CCBA’s efforts will remain focused on ensuring that young people run successful businesses, increasing their participation in the formal economy through education and launching programs to prepare them for the world of work, all in partnership. with like-minded stakeholders. Ensuring that Africa’s youth realize their full potential and that we unleash the “demographic dividend” that makes this continent such an exciting prospect for the future is not the responsibility of governments alone. Companies like ours have a lot to contribute, and in doing so, we can help create a better and more prosperous future for all.

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