Investing in workforce development programs in South Africa
According to the World Bank, the South Africa youth unemployment rate for 2019 was 55.97 percent, a 2.18 percent increase from 2018. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranks South Africa 140 out of 140 countries for the quality of math and science education. Microsoft recognized young people’s struggle with the information, skills, and networks required to access employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, and the simultaneous struggle by employers to find trained workers. Microsoft and its partners are committed to supporting skills development in Cape Town and Johannesburg through the donation of equipment, time, and funds.
Assisting Campaigning for Cancer (C4C) in Johannesburg through the COVID-19 Relief Fund
C4C, a group that works to insure against the cost of cancer, received a grant from the Microsoft COVID-19 Relief Fund. This award has improved their ability to advocate and assist patients in their Patient User Network. Particularly, the funding was used to develop a mobile app, create education materials around high-risk health conditions, advocate for flu shots in high-risk populations, and facilitate legal permits for patients traveling to access chemotherapy.
Establishing a Datacenter Academy with Edunova
Edunova, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the effective use of information and communication technologies in South African schools, has extensive experience in designing, developing, implementing, and managing community learning centers. The Workforce Development team is in the early phases of building a partnership with Edunova to retrofit an existing space at the Langa Township center. Early planning will determine cost, equipment donations, and curriculum alignment, with the ultimate goal of establishing a Datacenter Academy to offer baseline IT certifications.
Creating a computer lab at the Afrika Tikkun Zolile Malindi Centre of Excellence
Afrika Tikkun works to empower young people by providing them with the opportunity to receive education, health care, nutrition, and support for their families in order to level the playing field for underprivileged young people. In order to advance these efforts, Microsoft helped launched a new computer lab at the Afrika Tikkun Zolile Malindi Centre of Excellence in Cape Town. “Until recently we had two computer labs that could only accommodate 44 learners at a time,” said Lizo Madinga, General Manager at the Centre. The facility now has much newer, more modern equipment and can accommodate 60 learners per class.
Establishing a tech training facility within the Youth Employment Service (YES) hub in Alexandra
Microsoft support enabled YES, an organization that seeks innovative ways to employ young people in South Africa, to build a new Community Hub that will allow attendees to develop skills and access job opportunities created, and enabled by, digital infrastructure. The Community Hub will provide a pathway to tech and digital-based small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs), IoT and edge computing-related jobs, ISP business opportunities, 3D printing manufacturing, and low-cost data access.