Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is an independent, not-for-profit social enterprise that works with individual businesses, government agencies, local and international donors, industry sector associations, youth-serving organisations, assessment specialists, behaviour change experts and technology providers.
Through research and delivery, we contribute knowledge and insights about what is working to solve youth unemployment globally. Harambee was founded in South Africa in 2011 by business, government, and social partners. It established operations in Rwanda in 2018
Harambee works with business associations and across government to share our experience and data. This ranges from input to shape policies and incentives to building a system that can more successfully pathway young people to opportunities ranging from formal jobs to sustainable livelihoods to further learning. We engage with international donors and multilateral organisations to provide guidance on how their current investments can support solutions that work.
Harambee has received global recognition for its approach to innovation. We have created a culture that values learning by doing (most ideas are evaluated by finding “lean” ways to test them), continuously measuring the result of any innovation effort (key outcomes are tracked daily and weekly) and focusing on whether we have delighted our customers.
We partner with experts to understand labour market dynamics, with academics to conduct cutting- edge research (e.g. World Bank, Stellenbosch University, Oxford University, The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Research Triangle Institute), with global technology leaders interested in the future of work (e.g. Google, LinkedIn), and with community-based organisations who support young work-seekers. We regularly share our insights with others in Africa and globally who are seeking similar solutions for their own countries or businesses.
Erica Mbanda currently serves as Operations Manager at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in Rwanda and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Harambee in Rwanda. Previously, she served as Director of Operations for Centennial Generating Co., an energy services company serving Rwanda’s commercial and industrial sector. Her previous experience at Doyelcy Capital Partners, a portfolio company serving the construction and hospitality sectors, included oversight of the construction of the Marriott hotel in Kigali. Erica holds a BA and Masters from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.