MasterCard Foundation Commits 100 million to Projects Within Its Young Africa Works Strategy
Africa has one of the world’s highest unemployment rates, particularly for young adults. This problem is part of a larger global demographic bulge—or time bomb, some warn—of people coming of age in places without enough economic opportunity, a trend that threatens to destabilize countries and regions. But nowhere are things playing out more dramatically than in Africa, where the population is growing so fast that by 2035, there will be more young people entering the continent’s workforce each year than in the rest of the world combined.
Can that high-stakes challenge be solved with better training and education, savvy use of technology, and wider financial inclusion?
By the look of it, the Mastercard Foundation believes that it can. The foundation recently committed $100 million to projects within its Young Africa Works strategy. The move continues a trend of foundations, donors and social investors deepening their stakes in the continent’s future. Mastercard Foundation—an entity that's entirely separate from the credit card company and has some $9 billion in assets—is among the leaders in this push, especially on the economic front.
The vision of Young Africa Works is ambitious: to enable 30 million African youth to secure jobs by 2030. The strategy is based on extensive consultations with potential partners: the leaders of African governments, the private sector, educational institutions, civil society, and young people themselves...