Solving youth unemployment

through partnerships.


Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, particularly for young people. By 2030, there will be more young people entering Africa’s workforce each year than the rest of the globe combined. And by 2050,

Africa will have the largest workforce in the world. Yet, many young people are locked out of local economies and lack the information and skills to access the labour market – whether for formal, informal or entrepreneurial opportunities.

In Rwanda, we know that employers are reluctant to hire new job entrants with limited experience. Further, employers often use educational qualifications as a sole proxy for employability, which can make it more difficult for inexperienced job-seekers to access jobs they can do. 

Spoken English is a further challenge for many youth, as are other requirements expected in the world of work. Young people face many barriers including a lack of information and skills as well as the high costs of searching for jobs.

When they never hear back from employers, these young people give up and can join an even larger group that is discouraged and locked out of the economy.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator (“Harambee”) builds solutions to address this mismatch of demand and supply in
the labour market by linking work seekers to opportunities and
helping businesses and economies grow. Harambee’s model also addresses system-wide challenges at scale. 


Harambee has joined the Hanga Ahazaza initiative of Mastercard Foundation and works with many stakeholders across the public and private sector, including the Ministry of Youth and the Rwanda Development Board. We plan to leverage the assets and capabilities that have been built to create an African solution to Africa’s biggest challenge and biggest opportunity: creating jobs for young people.

Harambee builds partnerships between business, government, and society for innovative, large-scale solutions that are pragmatic and can deliver results now. We face a “boom or bust” generation with slowing economies, poor education systems and millions of youth trapped in a vicious cycle of exclusion, unemployment and instability. 



Harambee 1 of 2 organizations featured by Google Cloud as a leading case study for the use of inclusive technology and big data to tackle youth unemployment

The World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Aspen Institute, World Bank, and many others have featured Harambee as a case study demonstrating leadership, effective solutions and high performance.

In top 2% of USAID’s open innovation fund applicants

Genesys® Game Changer Award 2018 Harambee joined an elite group of 8 winners alongside international brands Heineken and Emirate Airlines for its contact center customer innovation

Best growth/scale plan in the 2017 Global Centre for Youth Employment Ideathon out of 200 submissions globally.

Named 7th ‘most favourite’ brand in South Africa amongst low-income earners

Recently featured in Lean Impact (social enterprise companion book to Silicon Valley bestseller Lean Start-Up) as a model that can successfully address large-scale social challenges

Aspen Institute John P. McNulty Prize finalist

Regular contributions through the media and in other forums to thought leadership on youth employment and economic inclusion