Junior Achievement (JA) Africa, a member of JA Worldwide, a global youth development organization operating in over 120 countries to equip youth with the skillset and mindset for economic success, is expanding its footprint on the African continent as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce youth unemployment and harness youth potential for economic development. For over 43 years, JA Africa has impacted the lives of millions of African youth through programs focused on building their financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial skills.
The expansion is necessitated by the increasing youth unemployment rates and the many barriers they have to overcome to get and keep jobs. Many countries have recorded unemployment rates as high as 50 % and the ILO estimates that 600 million jobs will have to be created globally over the next decade to solve this problem. Addressing this challenge is a priority for JA Africa and its supporters, and this is why JA Africa is pushing the envelope to ensure that its life changing programs are accessible to even the most marginalized communities. To this effect, JA Africa has increased its human capital through new hires and new arrivals on the board, and is making its programs available through digital mediums to more countries across the continent.
Breaking ground on the expansion agenda, JA Africa has hired two new staff to the JA Africa team: Mujeni Aseli, a highly experienced Kenyan Marketing & Communications executive, joining as the new Director of Marketing and Partnerships; and Vincent Supparayen, who has had a successful career with JA Mauritius and who will serve as the Head of Strategy and Development for Francophone Africa at JA Africa. Their arrival will be critical in strengthening existing partnerships, securing new funding sources and programming across the continent, particularly in Francophone Africa.
In addition, JA Africa recently launched an e-learning platform, skillslab.ja-africa.org where students can access JA Africa’s programs starting with the JA Digital Entrepreneurship Education Program (JA DEEP) which is a digital adaption of the JA Company Program and the ITS_TYME program. JA DEEP is a free to access course which teaches young people how to start businesses in a fun and experiential way. Built to fit the African context, JA DEEP gives young people the opportunity to experience the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship by walking them through how to start and operate a business that fills a need or solves a problem within their communities. Through partnerships with new and existing donors such as Boeing, the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation and the Tomorrow Foundation, JA Africa will pilot JA DEEP in new countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Rwanda.
Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa, said, “JA Africa is currently reaching 250,000 young people per year which is less than one percent of Africa’s youth population. We have heard the plight of these young people who are anxious about their economic futures due to the various barriers they face in securing livelihoods, and are working assiduously to make JA’s programs more accessible to more youth in more countries because we believe the skills JA equips them with will set them on the path to success. We hope to double our reach to 500,000 youth by 2023, and quickly ramp up to reaching one million youth annually by 2025. We are so grateful to have the support of our Board Members who, together with our funding partners, provide the resources and governance structures necessary for expanding our team’s capacity to meet these ambitious goals.”
About JA Africa:
Junior Achievement (JA) Africa equips young Africans with the employability and entrepreneurial skills and mindsets they need to build thriving communities. Through the delivery of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship training and in collaboration with schools, technical/ vocational centers and other partners, JA Africa works in 13 countries reaching over 250,000 youth each year. Learn more about us at www.ja-africa.org or follow us on social media @ja_africa
Director of Marketing and Partnerships
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