By Juliet Nalwooga
President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Mastercard Foundation for its efforts towards youth empowerment and transformation in Africa over the last decade.
The President was delivering a keynote speech at the official launch of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Uganda, which was live-streamed from the State House this afternoon.
President Museveni noted that the Young Africa Works’ alignment to the government’s national development plan. “The Young Africa Works strategy is in line with the work that our government is doing to achieve the goal of a healthy, educated, and prosperous population”, he said.
Under Young Africa Works strategy, the Foundation aims to enable more than 3 million young people in the country to access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030, and has committed $200 million to ensure young women, men, and refugees in Uganda have access to economic opportunities.
Speaking at the launch, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy noted that the implementation of Young Africa Works is already underway and discussed the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders involved in Young Africa Works.
“We have formed partnerships with a number of organizations and together, if we are successful, they already represent 30 percent of the goal of having 30 million people in dignified and fulfilling work,” she said. “What’s special is how our partners have come together to intentionally collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths,” she added.
Young Africa Works in Uganda focuses on three economic sectors, including agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and construction/housing.
The Mastercard Foundation is working in partnership with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, The Innovation Village, Gudie Leisure Farm, GOAL Uganda, the National Social Security Fund, and Equity Bank Uganda.
During the launch, speakers also recognized the impact of COVID-19 on various economic sectors in Uganda. To date, the Foundation has committed approximately $23.7 million to its COVID-19 response in Uganda.
The Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world.