The Rockefeller Foundation has been trying to stay ahead of the job market curve for Africa’s burgeoning youth population for a while. It does this mainly through its Digital Jobs Africa program, which basically focuses on growing the number of information communication technology (ICT) jobs available to young workers by fulfilling the sourcing needs of global companies—so-called "impact sourcing."
The Rockefeller Foundation often works with a handful of partners to advance its Digital Jobs Africa program goals. For example, it recently awarded Samasource a $2 million grant to help it grow its impact sourcing model by supporting the costs of securing impact pledges from companies and governments. The foundation has also provided support to the Mentec Foundation’s Business Academy of Technology and Systems (BATS) program, which trains disadvantaged South African young people for software development and computer programming jobs.
Rockefeller recently brought the Accenture Foundation, South Africa into its Digital Jobs Africa fold. Rockefeller awarded Accenture a $1 million grant toward the costs of the organization’s Skills to Succeed program. The program is a corporate citizen initiative of Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Similar to the above mentioned BATS program, Accenture’s Skills to Succeed program trains and mentors disadvantaged South African youth in computer programming and software development jobs. Between 2011 and 2014, over 800,000 people have participated in Accenture’s Skills to Succeed program. The company and its philanthropic arm hope to boost that number to more than 3 million by the year 2020.
Accenture’s Skills to Succeed program operates in lockstep with the impact sourcing model that Rockefeller applies in its Digital Jobs Africa program. The basic principle here is that Rockefeller connects corporations that need digital scut-work completed—like data management and low-end transcribing—with young people who have the skills and who are more than willing to do the work.
The pay rate for these jobs is often considerably lower than what it would be in developed countries. However, impact sourcing has the potential to increase incomes by anywhere from 40 to 200 percent. That increase in income is not only a boon to people living on a few dollars a day, it’s also a viable means to breaking generational poverty cycles.
Over 50 percent of South Africa’s people are currently living in poverty. And given that South Africa currently accounts for nearly 2 percent of global youth unemployment, providing impact sourcing jobs makes total sense.