World Youth Skills Day 2023: Preparing youth for a digital future

Jul 5, 2023

On World Youth Skills Day we celebrate, and put into action, the idea of equipping young people with the training they need to succeed in the workforce. 

Combined with this year’s theme – Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future – these notions neatly resonate with Asante Africa’s programs and mission to empower East African youth through education.

Empowering Youth With Practical Digital Skills 

In our post-pandemic world with an even heavier dependence on technology, the youth who reside in rural and disadvantaged communities face the toughest road for gaining the skills, training, and resources needed for business success. 

Among the challenges East Africa’s youth face (including the cultural customs that often prevent young girls from attending school and rob them of self-determination), the global march toward a knowledge-based workforce puts even more emphasis on digital skills and competencies in the future. 

In light of this, we are excited to honor World Youth Skills Day by highlighting the student accomplishments of Asante Africa’s Digital Entrepreneurship and Employability Program.

Digital Entrepreneurship and Employability Program, or DEEP (a program first piloted in Kenya which now spans Uganda and Tanzania as well) teaches youth the practical digital skills to succeed in today’s workforce. DEEP is meant to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and employment. 

The first group of DEEP apprentices in Kenya recently completed eight months of field work in schools associated with Asante Africa. These pioneers trained students on digital literacy, echoing this year’s WYSD theme of skilling both the trainers and youth.


DEEP Apprentices Share Their Stories

Student viewpoints


“When I first joined Asante Africa, I wasn’t even able to comfortably use a laptop and other digital devices. But now, not only can I operate them but I have learned skills that will help in managing my business. For example, I’ve learned how to market my products on the web, and now I can better save and plan for my business thanks to lessons I’ve learned from the organization. I really thank Asante Africa.”


“Since joining the Digital Entrepreneurship and Employability Program, I have been equipped with important skills that will help in my future career. The topics I have learned are of great impact. The teamwork and work ethic around the office is great and can assist me in the future. I have been able to understand other complex topics and have become good at working through problems. I’m aspiring to expand my career opportunities from everything the program has taught me.”


“The experience is quite an interesting journey! Since joining the program l have learned so many things…like interacting with the laptop being just one. There was a lot I did not know, but now I have acquired some (digital) skill and knowledge. The team that we have been working with is quite amazing. They have helped me learn how people should interact with one another and exchange ideas. I’m looking forward to creating something from all that l was taught.”


After joining the DEEP program, I got to learn many things. I can now use my laptop without any difficulty. I learned other things like visual studio and sublime text. Now I am well versed with computer skills thanks to the team that helped us throughout the lessons. I am very happy to be in this program and can’t wait to learn even more.”

Apprentice viewpoints 


I’m a mother of one and joined Asante Africa in 2020. When I joined Asante Africa, I was unable to finish my studies due to lack of school fees. Through Asante Africa, I was given the opportunity to work as an office cleaner so I could help my family and continue my studies. 

I worked as a cleaner for a year until they introduced a program called Digital Entrepreneurship and Employability Program. I joined the program as a volunteer and trained for six months until I was fully employed in the program. 

The program helped me learn digital skills like coding and entrepreneurial skills. These skills helped me get a job in a private company, working as a head of curriculum development. Thank you Asante Africa, for empowering me to be a woman of substance!

Did you know

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 15th as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of providing young people with the necessary skills for employment, sustainable work, and entrepreneurship. 

Since then, World Youth Skills Day events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy makers, and development partners. 


I joined Asante Africa’s Youth Livelihood Program in the Leadership and Entrepreneurship incubator in high school and gained a lot of skills there. When I finished form 4, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I put the skills I acquired from YLP into action. I started my own business from the little I got from my parents. I was supported along the way and successfully opened a boutique in Naivasha which I currently run. 

Then I joined DEEP, where I studied as an intern and learned the digital skills I regularly use today. The 21st century is all about the digital space, so I’ve learned HTML, basic skills and IT. I can confidently say that I’m a professional in computing and now I’m focusing on software development! 

I’m using the skills from the tech space to run my business and advertise my goods through WhatsApp, Twitter, and TikTok. It’s been a learning journey and I’m thankful to Asante Africa Foundation. 


The alumni/apprentices who are the foundation of the new DEEP program have graduated with globally recognized IT Support Professional certificates from Google, and half of them have secured employment. The other half are now leading the next cohort of DEEP apprentices.



This World Youth Skills Day, you can help the effort to skill teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future by contributing to Asante Africa Foundation

Here are some key youth employment facts to be aware of. 

      • 95% of young African workers are in informal, low paying jobs (ILO 2022)
      • The youth population will grow by more than 78 million between 2021 and 2030. Low income countries will account for nearly half of that increase.
      • Recent estimates suggest that 600 million jobs will have to be created over the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs. 

However, with Asante Africa’s programming, we see… 

        • 95% of Youth Livelihood Program graduates have increased confidence to start businesses
        • 61% of youth are running small businesses, either full or part time
        • 68% are supporting their family income and reducing the household poverty levels

Statistics like these underline how important it is to provide alternatives for East African youth. Be assured, your dollars have an impact, as they directly fund programs like DEEP, Youth Livelihood Program, Wezesha Vijana (life skills for adolescent girls and young women), Accelerated Learning, scholarships, and more. 

These programs, and others like them, help level the playing field for young people on World Youth Skills Day and beyond.  


WRITTEN BY: Christopher Bass

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