This week at World Economic Forum on Africa 2015, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) introduced a major new pan-African youth empowerment initiative with a pledge to help support 25,000 marginalized youth in six African countries within the next three years. 

The Youth Empowered for Success (YES!) program will provide young Africans with life skills training, business skills training and access to employment and mentoring, and will leverage an initial $4.5 million TCCAF investment and technology and strategic partnerships to accelerate and scale the initiative across the continent. 

YES! programs will initially reach disadvantaged and vulnerable young people between the ages of 18 and 35 in Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. During the first three years, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation aims to establish a scalable and replicable model with the ambition to reach 500,000 youth by 2020 through partnerships. 

“The Youth Empowered for Success initiative presents an exciting framework to help drive truly transformational change for young people in Africa,” said Nathan Kalumbu, chairman, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. “The potential to connect young people with the right opportunities to build better lives while strengthening their communities is incredibly compelling.”



TCCAF Liberia

Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps


Partnering to Find Solutions to Africa’s Greatest Challenges

With an expanding population, greater access to education and strengthening economies across Africa, the program aims to contribute to ensuring sufficient employment opportunities are created and that young unemployed and underemployed Africans gain access to necessary skills and resources. It is currently estimated that more than 10 million African youth are entering the workforce each year, yet less than half this number of employment opportunities are being created in the formal sector.

The program will be implemented through a strong network of new and existing partners from across humanitarian, business and mentorship organizations to achieve maximum impact.  Launch partners include global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and the Nairobi-based small business growth and advisory platform Kuza Biashara.

The YES! program will focus on four strategic program pillars: 1) TRAIN will prepare youth for jobs and provide high impact market-driven skills; 2) LINK will connect youth to employment opportunities; and 3) THRIVE will focus on supporting youth to succeed in jobs and entrepreneurship and ENABLE will drive collaboration with governments, private sector and civil society to provide an enabling employment to facilitate access to jobs for youth.