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Photo: Kolin Mendez

Creating Jobs for African Youth One Step at a Time

An Evening with JA Africa brought solutions to youth unemployment to the front and set the continent on a course for rapid growth

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"There's no better time to be an African than right now."

That was the message from Frank Aswani—the keynote speaker at the fundraiser "An Evening with JA Africa" on September 21st. The party, a partnership between Junior Achievement Africa, Facebook and OkayAfrica, was held at Facebook's New York offices and left attendees reflecting on the the importance of youth economic empowerment in Africa.

Aswani, the Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Higherlife Foundation challenged the audience to think about the work they can do to reduce the job deficit.

"Whether our young generation make it or not is up to us," he said. "Africa is going to have the biggest workforce in 6000 days. Do you believe we will have the right quality of people in 6000 days? Are we making the right investments? Are schools teaching kids the right stuff? Do young Africans have a sense of what the world expects of them? We have a very time-sensitive window to get this right or Africa will be a place we can't live. We have to get it right. We have no excuse to wait further."

Photo: Kolin Mendez

Other speakers echoed Aswani's sense of urgency. Ebele Okobi, Facebook's Director of Public Policy emphasized the importance of the work JA Africa does on the continent, giving youth the tools they need to rescue themselves.

Amini Kajunju, the Executive Director of International University of Grand Bassam Foundation and also a Board Member of JA Africa decried staggering statistics on youth unemployment on the continent and praised the impact that JA Africa is having on youth in Africa.

Elizabeth Bintliff, the CEO of Junior Achievement Africa remarked that "We're asking young people to create jobs for themselves but giving them no foundation on how to do so. If we're going to change the trajectory of the continent we're going to have to make an investment in youth."

Photo: Kolin Mendez

The issue is indeed urgent. Africa graduates 12 million young people from its secondary and tertiary schools each year, but its economies create only 3 million jobs, leaving a deficit of about 9 million new jobs in Africa each year. The vast majority of African youth must create their own employment, or wait the average six years it takes to find their first job. That's why JA begins teaching entrepreneurship as early as high school. The thousands of young people that have completed JA Africa's training make up a vast network of alumni—an incredible resource for each other and an example of the impact that JA Africa has made.

"JA taught me how to be confident about speaking in public," Emmanuel Nyame, JA Ghana Alumnus told the crowd. "JA has maintained consistency in empowering youth. It's refreshing to know there's an organization ready to help you grow at every stage of your life."

Aswani added that the work JA is doing to deliberately develop and invest in leaders is how Africa will be able to hit the daunting mark of creating a million jobs a month for the next 10 years.

Photo: Kolin Mendez

To learn more about how JA Africa is empowering African youth go to www.ja-africa.org.

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The Five Must-Have Apps for Diaspora Africans in 2020

These mobile apps and digital platforms are making it easier for Africans across the world to find jobs and scholarships, get new citizenship and send money overseas.

Sponsored content from World Remit

Mobile apps and digital platforms have fundamentally transformed nearly every aspect of our lives. Whether it's ordering food, keeping track of our work or life goals to sending money to our loved ones, these apps and digital platforms have made lives easier, efficient and more productive.

As the brand new year begins, we have compiled a list of five must-have apps and digital platforms that we believe will help Africans in the diaspora, especially in the U.S. make the most of the year.

​Job Opportunities

It is one thing migrating to the U.S. and another getting a job to sustain your livelihood in a new country. Upwardly Global helps work-authorized Africans in the diaspora, and Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs) restart their professional careers in the U.S. Their online Job Search Program helps users adapt their skills, education, and previous careers into the American workforce, whilst demonstrating the value of their experience to potential employers.

The majority of people who move away from their home country, look for jobs to support their family abroad assisting with key necessities like food, education, medical and housing costs.

If you are looking for a platform to assist with your job search, Upwardly Global will provide the support you need.

​Citizenship Education

Another goal for many Africans in the diaspora after settling in the U.S. is to start their journey towards securing their U.S. citizenship. The 'USCIS Citizenship Test Prep' App helps Africans in the diaspora who are studying for their naturalization civics exams to access mobile tutoring. The app provides flashcards on 100 different civic questions, covering topics like U.S. history and geography.

Available on Android and iOS, this app seeks to help new Africans in the diaspora to adequately prepare for their American citizenship test as they continue to pursue the American dream.

Finding Scholarships

This app is particularly relevant to Africans in the diaspora that want to pursue higher education and would need a scholarship to make this possible. Trying to find scholarship money for yourself or your child can be very tedious and time consuming. The Scholly app enables tuition-starved students to procure the funds to enroll in higher education. The Scholly app now has over two million users and has helped students to secure more than $100 million in scholarships. The app can be downloaded from both Android and iOS app platforms.

Language Translation

Tarjimly means "translate for me" and was founded in 2017 with the aim to connect a community of volunteer translators with African immigrants and refugees in real-time. The connections between the immigrants and volunteers are anonymous, and the only information shared is the translator's first name. Other information is up to the participants to share. When someone requests a translator for a particular language, Tarjimly's machine which uses a learning matching algorithm, selects the best volunteer available in a community of 8,000+ people. The translator is then connected in a live chat with the person in need, where they can send text, documents, and start a phone or video call.

The app can be downloaded from both Android and iOS stores.

Sending Money Home

Sending remittances back home is important to many Africans in the U.S. and around the world. Money that is sent back home is used for necessities such as food, clothing, housing, education as well as to start small businesses. We understand the sacrifice being made; leaving everything you know and love to provide a better life for your loved ones. To help make this journey a little easier, the WorldRemit service offers lower fees and faster transfer times so more money makes it to loved ones when they need it most.

Available online or via the WorldRemit mobile app, you can make a transfer to family or friends in a matter of minutes. We are connected to more mobile money services around the world than any other money transfer operator and with mobile money, people can instantly receive remittance payments on their phones instead of travelling long distances to foreign exchange bureaus to collect cash.

Around 70% of our transfers are sent from the mobile app, and 90% of our transfers arrive in less than 10 minutes.

Looking to transfer money online to your loved ones in Africa? We are offering zero fees on your first three money transfers when you use the code "3FREE". All you need to do is download our app or sign up on our website, choose where you want to transfer money and how much you want to send. It is super simple to sign up and you can start sending money in minutes. See www.worldremit.com/3FREE for more details (T&Cs apply).

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Interview: Dimpie Dimpopo on Channeling Online Clout into a Lucrative Career

We chat to Internet sensation Dimpie Dimpopo about his moves and music.

This interview is part of a series of interviews and profiles on amapiano artists and personalities sponsored by Corona. You can follow the rest of the series here.

Dimpie Dimpopo (real name Nadiem Poen) is an all-round entertainer. He became popular in South Africa after a series of gig guide videos he was consistently sharing on his Instagram account since 2018. His favorite catch phrase "Oh Nkosi Yami!" is now used by many South Africans, especially in the party scene. Dimpie is a staple in the country's dance scene which is dominated by the house subgenre amapiano at the moment.

This Internet fame has enabled the 23-year-old to share his other gifts with his growing fanbase. When he sits down for an interview with OkayAfrica, he is preparing for his first stand-up comedy show, and has just returned from a meeting to seal a partnership with an automobile brand that's collaborating with him for a campaign.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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