Liquid Intelligent Technologies SA's Youth Empowerment Programme is equipping South African youth with digital skills for a brighter community-focused future
The Liquid SA Youth Empowerment Programme comes at a crucial time, with Africa facing a significant digital skills gap, which hinders economic opportunities and development. According to a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), by 2030, approximately 230 million jobs across the continent will require some level of digital skills, creating the potential for 650 million training opportunities and an estimated US$130bn market.
The programme in Phokeng and Gauteng, which is run in partnership with Forge Academy and the Royal Bafokeng Enterprise Development Centre, has already made a positive impact, with 40 young South Africans benefitting from the initiative. Of these, 20 youths underwent training in Phokeng, while another 20 were part of the programme in Gauteng.
“The Liquid SA Youth Empowerment Programme is aimed at equipping young people with the skills and support they need to become successful entrepreneurs in their communities and to empower them for the continent’s digital future. Along with our partners, we are dedicated to making a difference in the communities where we operate. Supporting skills development among unemployed youth is vital to improving the unemployment rate in our country and fulfilling our goal of leaving no African behind,” commented Deon Geyser, CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies SA.
This transformative initiative aims to empower young people by providing them with comprehensive technical training, personal development mentorship, and coaching to unlock entrepreneurship opportunities.
In the next version, starting in November, the programme will see a new class enrolled as it moves to new heights by shifting focus from technical training in smartphone and tablet repairs to a cutting-edge field: artificial intelligence (AI).
The 40 brand new learners will delve into AI fundamentals, robotics, coding, and machine learning. The goal is to equip these young individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle real-world challenges in innovative ways.
The Youth Employment Programme with Forge Academy is just the latest initiative that Liquid is involved in to empower South Africa’s youth for a digital future. In June 2021, Liquid opened the Innovation and Digital Skills Centre (IDSC) in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, which offers certified digital skills courses targeted at unemployed youth from the Mthatha community.
As part of Liquid’s continued commitment to youth entrepreneurship development, it intends to extend similar programmes throughout the country, with the next intake targeted for the Eastern Cape, using the IDSC as a base. It also plans to host additional beneficiaries of the programme being run in Phokeng going forward.
These efforts reiterate the company’s belief that every individual on the African continent has the right to be connected. This forms part of Liquid’s commitment to fostering innovation and building digital skills among the youth, even in the remotest parts of the country.