Trace, Mastercard learning app targets 26m young Africans
Music channel Trace has joined forces with the Mastercard Foundation to launch a free-to-use mobile-based learning application that will enable 26 million young Africans to acquire on-demand, market-relevant skills in the next four years.
The app, Trace Academia, which is available on Android and iOS, has already been tested in four African countries, with users accessing courses in English and French. Portuguese courses will soon be launched, says Trace.
Trace and the Mastercard Foundation say the new platform represents an important contribution to the youth employment agenda in Africa.
In a statement, they say as the youngest continent in the world, with nearly 65% of its population under the age of 25, “Africa is home to the workforce of the future, and with the right skills and opportunities, young people will be the continent’s greatest drivers of transformation”.
Trace explains that learning content on Trace Academia will include technical courses relevant to 15 different industries, including energy, beauty, fashion, DIY, digital marketing, hospitality, the creative arts, journalism, film and technology.
It adds that each course featured on the application has been designed in collaboration with an industry-leading organisation to ensure its relevance to employers and the job market.
Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and executive chairman of Trace, comments: “Our courses and certificates are created in partnership with influential players across the industry, governments and non-profit sector.
“This free, easy-to-use app aims to train 26 million African youth by 2026 with the skills they need to find or create work and the opportunities to kick-start their careers. I strongly believe their current circumstances should never be a hindrance to their success.”
Similarly, the Mastercard Foundation says it is supporting the platform as part of its Young Africa Works strategy, to enable 30 million young people to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.
Peter Materu, chief programme officer at the Mastercard Foundation, elaborates: “Two things are particularly exciting about Trace Academia. One is that the platform offers young people total flexibility and control over their learning.
“Users can learn at their own pace, in their own time, and customise their journey to the emergent demands they face as they navigate the world of work. Second, the courses are deeply practical and designed in collaboration with market-leading organisations to ensure they are industry-relevant.”