South Africa: Youth Economic Development

One of the biggest challenges in South Africa is the problem of youth unemployment. “South Africa may be the largest and most developed economy on the African continent, but the unemployment rate for younger people has been running as high as 50%, prompting a nationwide debate about schemes where companies get paid for taking on young workers. The extent of youth joblessness, and its associated poverty, is acknowledged to be a major contributor to South Africa’s high crime rate. And in some urban centres it is fuelling drug-related gang culture” (BBC News).

It is with the above in mind that RLabs and partners have been evolving its GROW programme into the GROW Leadership Academy offering young people aged 18 – 25 an opportunity to gain skills in Technology, Leadership and Management, Entrepreneurship and Community Development. The goal of the GROW Leadership Academy is to develop youth who become employable or start their own businesses. The new programme launched a month ago have already had an overwhelming response of 120 students being accepted into the academy in Cape Town, with a waiting list for its 2nd semester and expansion being planned for Johannesburg, Namibia and Tanzania.

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