Innovation for the digital economy

The long-standing issue of youth unemployment in South Africa has recently intensified due to digital transformation and changes to business models prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While entrepreneurs and other self-employed people have been particularly badly hit, with significant decreases in trading activities and high levels of uncertainty affecting well-being, some entrepreneurs have thrived and seem well-placed to continue to do so.
In South Africa, there has been an increase in demand for remote on-demand workers (RODWs) and on-demand contract workers (ODCWs). This rise in demand means that for young people to get opportunities, they need to be equipped with toolkits that make them employable in businesses thriving online. As a result, there is an increased impetus for policymakers and other stakeholders, including universities, training providers and innovation hubs, to intervene in the entrepreneurial ecosystem for social and economic reasons.
The University of Johannesburg, University of Warwick, Gauteng City-Region Academy (GCRA) and Tshepo (Tehepo1million) are in partnership to understand how young workers may be rapidly retrained to meet the demand for a digitally literate, flexible remote workforce.
The IAU project partnership brings together knowledge of entrepreneurial ecosystems, youth employment and skills training, and experience designing and developing digital platforms and other infrastructure. In addition, this project seeks partnership with other projects focusing on preparing youth for these opportunities that will soon become the norm of doing business.

We wish this project well as we unite to grow and innovate Africa for youth employment opportunities
British Council – Innovation for African Universities Programme (IAU)
The Centre of Excellence implements the British Council IAU programme, a partnership between the City, University of London, the University of Nairobi, and ChangeSchool UK.
The Programme comprises 24 partnerships of UK universities, SSA universities and entrepreneurial ecosystem organisations. The Programme is running in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana & South Africa.
We’re looking forward to working in partnership with Innovation for the digital economy to exchange knowledge and ideas to strengthen the role of universities in entrepreneurship ecosystems.
To find out more: www.britishcouncil.org/education/he-science/news/entrepreneurship-projects-africa-have-been-announced
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