Kelvin Balogun President Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa. Photo Credit: Tech Moran

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) has launched a digital platform aimed at connecting young people to training, mentoring and employment opportunities provided by its pan-African youth empowerment initiative Youth Empowered for Success (YES!).

The YES! initiative was launched last month, and aims to empower marginalised youth in six countries through a US$4.5 million investment from TCCAF. It aims to reach 500,000 youth by 2020.

It is being introduced in Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia by TCCAF and partners such as Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and Kuza Biashara. Future launches will also take place in Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda.

The digital platform intends to provide wider accessibility and greater scale for the programme, offering life skills training, business skills training and access to employment and mentoring for 25,000 young Africans over the next three years.

“The rapid pace of technology adoption across Africa presents significant opportunity for private sector, civil society and government partners to engage with youth in new ways while building the skills and connections that are essential for employment,” said Kelvin Balogun, trustee at TCCAF and business unit president at Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa.

“Harnessing the talent and ambition of youth will be essential to Africa fulfilling its long-term potential, and we aim to help support this aspiration through Youth Empowered for Success. The launch of the new YES! digital platform is an important introduction in allowing us to reach more young people across Africa while rapidly scaling the programme as it expands into new countries across the continent.”

The platform aims to ensure inclusive reach for the initiative, providing access to services for young people in remote locations and those with limited literacy skills. Built by TCCAF and its programme partners, it has been designed to support widely-available technology including SMS and voice-based mobile devices, and will be available through devices at YES! programme hubs.