This report explores the outcomes of “The Future of Work in Africa: Innovations for Youth Employment,” a six-week online professional development course implemented in partnership between Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation through their joint Future Forward initiative. The course was produced by a “team of teams,” including staff from the two implementing organizations, as well as platform partner TechChange.org.
Out of over 370 applications received, 162 participants were enrolled into the course, representing a diverse mix of public and private sector professionals from 32 different countries. Through course surveys, course participants reported making new critical connections, acquiring new skills for supporting and advancing social innovation in
youth employment, and building strong, new understanding of the trends and pressing youth issues that cut across the continent.
Online engagement on the platform consisted of weekly live expert guest speakers, quizzes, TedX videos, academic reports, articles, blog posts recapping content, office hour sessions, and curated discussion forums. Concurrently, our social media campaign utilized the hashtag #AfricaYouthFwd on Twitter and Facebook to share course insights, such as advice from guest speakers, with a wider public audience. Course participants also used the hashtag to share their thoughts and bring greater visibility to their work, the course, and network. The online course ended with a Twitter panel and chat on the theme of Africa’s Young Talent & the Changing Meaning of “Work.” This Twitter chat trended in the “Top 40” of hashtags that day, with 82 contributors, 500 total tweets, and 25,127,488 impressions.
In addition, we adopted a blended learning model during and after the online course, in which 10 in-person events were organized across the following seven African cities: Accra (Ghana), Limbe (Cameroon), Dakar, (Senegal), Harare (Zimbabwe), Johannesburg (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria), and Nairobi (Kenya). This consisted of after-worksocials and “Ecosystem Exchanges,” which strengthened the collaborative nature of the course and set the tone for furthering the impact of the network. In total, these events brought together over 300 social innovators impacting youth in Africa.
The quantitative and qualitative data captured by the course team supports the impact assessment, with extremely high levels of engagement by participants.The Ashoka course experience demonstrated that we have discovered a new and meaningful pathway for Pan-African network building around youth development, engaging a diverse cross section of program managers, policy makers, corporate staff, leaders of youth serving organizations and more to share ideas and challenges. The report closes with the plans for continued engagement and learning on the topic of youth employment in Africa.
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FF Report 2016 FF Ecosystem Exchange Report 2016 FF Report 2015