MasterCard launches Shs251b youth employment initiative

Unemployed youths (graduates) struggle to get application forms to join the Uganda Police Force early this year. PHOTO BY ANDREW BAGALA

What you need to know:

Focus. The fund is looking at the youth living on less than $2 a day.

Kampala. In order to address youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa, the MasterCard Foundation has introduced an innovation targeting sectors that have the highest potential for job growth such as agriculture and construction.
The youth in sub-Saharan Africa are faced with limited access to appropriate financial services, negative perceptions and discrimination from employers. As a result, most of them find themselves employed in informal jobs with low productivity and pay.

200,000 targeted
Youth Forward Initiative, a five year $74m (Shs251b) programme to be pioneered in Uganda and Ghana, is expected to reach more than 200,000 economically disadvantaged young people, aged between 15 and 24.

Ms Ann Miles, the director of programmes, and financial inclusion and youth livelihoods at the MasterCard Foundation, said: “The Foundation recognises that in order for youth to reach their full potential, they must have access to the right skills and opportunities”.

“By bringing together multiple partners with varying types of expertise, we can better support young people through practical skills development, networking opportunities and access to appropriate financial services so they can successfully find a job, further their education or start their own businesses,” she added.

This fund will focus on youth living on less than $2 per day, who are out of school, unemployed or underemployed and are seeking quality employment or the opportunity to start their own businesses in the growing agricultural and construction sectors.


In Uganda, GOAL and NCBA CLUSA will lead the consortia connecting young people to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the agricultural sector.


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