JA Africa, Boeing expand partnership with launch of “Our Future-Tomorrow’s Innovators” programme
Every year, approximately seven to 10 million young people across the African continent enter into a weak labour market, where high unemployment, low productivity, and poverty-level income are commonplace.
Junior Achievement (JA) Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has partnered with Boeing, a multinational aviation corporation, to launch the “Our Future-Tomorrow Innovators” programme, in collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab, a non-profit organization.
The transformational programme will aim to equip more than 5,000 of Africa’s youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to become leaders in their chosen fields. To date, 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa and about 37% of its workforce are under the age of 25.
By 2025, two-thirds of Africa’s population will be under 25 years of age and will be home to 25% of the world’s youth population.
Enterprise development remains the best pathway to creating employment opportunities and ensuring sustainable livelihoods, yet few governments have mainstreamed entrepreneurship education into the curriculum.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), only up to 12% of Africa’s students graduate with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with ICT accounting for no more than three to four prevent of student graduates.
With presence in 13 countries in Africa, and an annual reach of over 300,000 African youth, JA Africa has been serving communities for over 40 years and is instrumental in creating real change at a grass roots level.
Over 70% of participants in their Company Programme have started a business, with many stating that the idea for their business stemmed from their participation in the programme. At its current annual reach, JA Africa is reaching less than one percent of African youth.
However, by establishing a digital learning platform, they have the potential to engage over one million students per year.
Chief Executive of JA Africa, Simi Nwogugu said, “It is our pleasure to announce the event launch today for our highly anticipated partnership expansion with Boeing and INJAZ Al-Arab. The ‘Our Future- Tomorrow’s Innovators’ programme in Africa will have a life changing impact on our youth, enabling them to take their future into their own hands, empowering them with the knowledge to do so, and giving them to the confidence to tap into their already existing thirst for knowledge and entrepreneurial creativity. These innovative leaders of the future bring with them passion, energy, and drive that will continue to inspire the generations to come, creating a lasting legacy.”
For over 12 years, Boeing has invested over $12 million in community outreach programmes across Africa, with a focus on providing systemic improvements in education and economic empowerment for those in poverty to reach their full potential. The partnership extension with JA Africa and INJAZ Al-Arab will deepen this commitment and create opportunities for branching into STEM-focused programmes that respond to the current market needs and cater to future demands.
President of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Kuljit Ghata-Aura said “we are delighted to continue Boeing’s decade-long legacy of empowering African youth and to equip them with the skills they need to be successful in today’s labour market. The next stage of our partnership with JA Africa and INJAZ Al-Arab will allow an even greater number of talented young Africans to reach their full potential and to leapfrog into a brighter future.”
In Tanzania, the JA Africa/Boeing partnership will focus on supporting 100 Tanzanian youth through Innovation Day Camps, while the programmes in Ghana, Madagascar and the Democratic republic of Congo will focus on the digital entrepreneurship education of 1,300 students.
The programmes in Mauritania and Sudan will empower youth to own their economic success, with 100 to 200 students targeted respectively. In Nigeria, the partnership will support the expansion of the Company Programme which empowers secondary school students to build innovative businesses to solve problems within their communities.