Vodacom, Microsoft South Africa Join Forces To Bolster Digital Skills For In-Demand Jobs

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In a move designed to reduce the 44% youth unemployment rate among South Africans, Vodacom South Africa and Microsoft South Africa have joined forces to provide free access to digital training courses on the Mzansi Digital Learning platform.

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Recognising the digital skills gap in a country with one of the world’s highest youth population, this partnership aims to address the urgent need for relevant skills in the modern job market.

It underscores both companies’ commitment to drive digital inclusion, ensuring that no one is left behind in the quest for digital literacy, providing access to opportunities in the digital economy, and proficiency in key technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“We are extremely grateful to embark on this transformative partnership with our longstanding partner Microsoft South Africa. Collaborating with a like-minded brand who share our values and ambition is testament to our collective commitment to address unemployment and empower individuals through innovative digital training,” says Mathys Venter, Managing Executive for Prepaid and Loyalty at Vodacom South Africa.

“Affording youth with much needed digital literacy is just one way we strive to fight the scourge of unemployment, one skill at a time. We believe that this partnership reinforces our purpose of creating an inclusive digital society, leaving no one behind,” added Venter.

The Mzansi Digital Learning platform will be hosted on the new NXT LVL rewards platform, and integrated into Vodacom’s ConnectU - a zero rated platform that gives customers access to content without mobile data charges. 

The Mzansi Digital Learning platform also removes the cost of connectivity when it comes to access to educational content, and it also focuses on important topics to help users understand the changing landscape of business in a digital world of Generative AI, entrepreneurship, and cybersecurity.  Certification is provided upon completion of the course, and all the programmes on the platform have been designed to align with the most sought-after jobs in South Africa.

“We are fully committed to supporting and enabling our youth as we collectively work towards closing the skills gap and empowering every person to achieve more in this era of digital transformation. It is increasingly about ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need for the jobs that exist today and, in the future,” says Asif Valley, National Technology Officer at Microsoft South Africa.

Microsoft South Africa works closely with its local partner Afrika Tikkun to deliver training, tools, and platforms to boost youth employability and entrepreneurship. The courses will appeal to youth and entrepreneurs who want to upskill and equip themselves with the skills essential for success in today’s digital market and an AI-driven world.

Commenting on the partnership, Onyi Nwaneri, the Group CEO of Afrika Tikkun said: “Afrika Tikkun’s vision is to help young people gain skills that will enable them access and sustain access into the digital economy. The partnership with Microsoft and Vodacom ensures that this access is affordable, meaningful, empowering, and sustainable. Young people are encouraged to embrace this opportunity and leverage it for their advancement. This is a milestone and we are so grateful to be part of this pioneering initiative.”

Ultimately, both organisations aim to reach 300,000 people with the Mzansi Digital Learning platform over the coming months. Much of the success of this initiative will come down to how young people embrace the digital skills courses as a tool to give them the proficiencies they need and the entrepreneurial know-how to become active members of the economy.

“This is the first time we are working with Vodacom to bring an initiative of this scale to the local market and drive a common social goal. We know that when we empower people to harness digital technologies effectively, we help to create sustainable businesses,” says Valley.

South Africans interested in equipping themselves with these in-demand digital skills can register for the programme on https://www.mzansidigitallearning.co.za/

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