Historically, Africa has been a continent rich in resources. According to the UN, Africa boasts 30% of the world’s oil reserves, 40% of gold, 90% of chrome and the largest reserves of diamonds, platinum, and uranium. That doesn’t even take into account our continent’s beautiful natural resources in terms of fertile farmland, water, wildlife, and more.
But Africa is also rich in another resource: humans. In particular, Africa has the youngest population in the world. Young people are a critical resource, as many countries with aging populations are beginning to realise.
Africa has many challenges to overcome, particularly when it comes to equal education, alleviating poverty, and building infrastructure. But at Boxfusion, we believe that we need to tap into this natural resource – not just to improve the individual lives of African youth, but to transform the trajectory of the continent as well.
To that end, at Boxfusion, we are constantly working with like-minded organisations to uplift and empower the youth within our sphere of influence. We have partnered with two impactful organisations that are working to bridge the digital divide and give youths of Africa a hope and a future.
One of these is Social Coding, a non-profit organisation that seeks to give rural children and youth, aged 7-34, the digital skills they need not only to make it through school, but to qualify for university, and gain meaningful workplace experience. This organisation also supports entrepreneurs within rural communities by teaching them basic digital skills, including using a computer to automate stock-taking at kiosks, for example.
Another organisation we associate with is GirlCodeZA. Founded by a former Boxfusioner, Zandile Keebine, GirlCodeZA specifically focuses on generating interest for coding as a career amongst young black women, changing the narrative around technology as a career and empowering them for a future workplace that does not yet exist.
A final way we’re tapping into and empowering African youth as a resource is through our annual Boxfusion Graduate Programme. Each year, we employ 15-20 previously disadvantaged computer science graduates, giving them an opportunity to gain meaningful workplace experience across various verticals within our business, while mentoring them through their year-long, salaried internship with us.
Africa has always had a lot to offer, but it’s critical that we also give back to the youth of our communities, while recognising the essential role they have to play in shaping the future of our continent. Tomorrow begins by empowering the youth of today.