Target: 30m youth jobs by 2030: Reeta Roy--President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation.

Author:Versi, Anver
Position:Star interview - Interview
 
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Reeta Roy is President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation, a major philanthropic organisation focused on microfinance and youth learning initiatives. Under her leadership, the Foundation has prioritised its most substantial commitments to Africa. It forges large-scale partnerships with a diverse range of organisations and initiates large-scale initiatives.

The MasterCard Foundation, established in 2006, is an independent, global organisation based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $6bn in assets. Through collaboration with partner organisations in 49 countries, mostly in Africa, it is creating opportunities for all to learn and prosper.

The Foundation's programmes promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company, MasterCard Worldwide.

Reeta Roy, a passionate advocate for youth employment and financial inclusion, travels extensively in the areas the Foundation is involved in. She is a member of the Aspen Philanthropy Group and the World Economic Forum on Social Innovation.

She has spoken at a wide array of fora, including the UN General Assembly, the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Innovation Summit for Education and the UNESCO Youth Forum.

In this interview with Hew Africans Editor, Anver Versi, she explains how the Foundation's new campaign, the ambitious 'Young Africa Works', is designed to help create 30m new jobs by 2030.

Why have yon made youth employment the central pillar of y our new strategy i Deliberate investment in youth is the most transformative investment any society can make.

This is particularly relevant for Africa today. Ensuring that Africa's young people secure employment or can create their own livelihoods is arguably the number one task for African policymakers.

Africa is currently the youngest continent in the world and will continue to be for the next several decades. By 2100, almost half of the world's young people will be African. This presents a distinct opportunity.

Through the Mastercard Foundation's work across the continent over the last decade, we have heard from Africa's young people, that securing work to provide for their families and improve their lives is one of their greatest challenges.

We also know that the pace of technology and digitisation is changing the nature of work rapidly.

Ten years from now, the nature of work in Africa may look very different from what it does today. We believe that there are already significant opportunities for young people to find and secure work --work that not only provides income, but that they find fulfilling.

Those opportunities may be invisible to them now, but they do exist. For example, we may know that a horticulture business that grows fruit could create work for a few people--perhaps...

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