The Mastercard Foundation announced its Young Africa Works strategy in Uganda, which has set a goal to enable more than 3 million young people in the country to access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030. The Foundation has committed USD$200 million to ensure that the youth and refugees in Uganda have access to economic opportunities.
Presiding over the virtual launch of the strategy, H.E. President Yoweri Museveni noted Young Africa Works’ alignment to the government’s national development plan.
“I commend Mastercard Foundation for your efforts towards youth empowerment and transformation in Africa over the last decade. I am glad to note that your focus over the next decade is on uplifting young people by expanding employment opportunities,” said President Museveni during his keynote address, which was live-streamed from the State House.
He added that the Young Africa Works strategy is in line with the work that the government is doing to achieve the goal of a healthy, educated, and prosperous population.
Young Africa Works in Uganda focuses on three economic sectors; Agriculture, Tourism & Hospitality, and Construction/Housing.
The Foundation is working with a range of partners; the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, The Innovation Village, Gudie Leisure Farm, GOAL Uganda, the National Social Security Fund, and Equity Bank Uganda to realize its goals under Young Africa Works.
“We have formed partnerships with a number of organizations and together, if we are successful, they already represent 30% of the goal of having 30 million people in dignified and fulfilling work,” said Mastercard Foundation President and CEO; Reeta Roy.
Samuel Adela Yalew, Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation noted that Young Africa Works would be building on a decade of work and achievements. Hon. Janet Museveni; Minister of Education and Sports reflected on the long-standing partnership of the Mastercard Foundation in the area of education.
“I believe we can now say that the Mastercard Foundation is a faithful friend of Uganda. In the last decade alone, they have provided quality education opportunities to over 6,000 young people in the country,” she commented.
Uganda is home to the second largest population of young people in the world with 82% of the population under the age of 35. Young Africa Works has already begun positively impacting Uganda’s young people.
“It has helped me to get some money to buy food and to clothe myself,” said Akiding Elizabeth Oumo, a program participant who benefitted from skills training conducted under Young Africa Works.