Nestle teams up with regional partners to launch youth-focused initiative in Africa

AFRICA – The multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation, Nestle in partnership with its regional partners has launched the Regional Alliance for YOUth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This joint effort is part of the company’s business-driven movement ‘Alliance for YOUth’ with a focus on creating and implementing employability programs, mentorship and training designed to equip young people with essential workplace skills.

The alliance will combine the efforts of partner companies on hiring, skilling up and training young people by targeting tier three and four universities and vocational schools in and outside of capital cities.

The alliance has already been launched in Côte d’Ivoire with the support of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire through ‘Agence Emploi Jeunes’, a government agency that promotes youth employability and employment, and the International Labour Organization, the regional members of the alliance in Côte d’Ivoire also include Bolloré, Groupe NSIA, MTN, Nielsen and Publicis.

“Nearly 77% of the Ivorian population is aged under 35, which means that concrete actions must be taken to provide more opportunities and help to integrate these young people into the workplace,” said Zain Reddiar, General Manager for Human Resources at MTN in Côte d’Ivoire.

“At MTN, we are ready to effectively contribute to this project, which we are sure will help a large part of that population,” he added.

Similarly, in Angola, the alliance was launched in partnership with the Government of Angola, the Swiss Embassy, ADPP and other private companies from different sectors operating in Angola. It will be launched on 4th of November 2019 in South Africa.

In a press statement released by Nestle, Rémy Ejel, Market Head for Nestlé Central and West Africa said, “We believe that investing in youth is vital for thriving, resilient communities, and helps to build our business too.”

“Young people are the next generation of employees who will keep our company competitive, the farmers who will grow the crops we need, and the entrepreneurs who will help us reach new markets, regardless of their field or level of expertise. This is just the beginning,” he added.

This launch comes at a time when young people face significant challenges. Today’s youth is the largest the world has ever seen.

According to the United Nations, young people aged 15-24 account for one out of every six people globally, with 20% of the total youth population living in Africa alone.

This demographic trend goes along with increased unemployment rate among youth. In sub-Saharan Africa, it reached nearly 30% in 2016, as a report by the International Labour Organization shows.

Without a concerted action, it is expected that nearly 50% of youth in the region will be unemployed by 2025.

 Nestlé founded Alliance for YOUth in Europe in 2014. In 2017, it was launched in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay a year later.

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It was also recently launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019 with 20 other international organisations.

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