Rockefeller Foundation Launches Digital Jobs Africa

Rockefeller Launches Digital JobsAt the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, in May, the Rockefeller Foundation announced its Digital Jobs Africa initiative with a commitment to impact one million people in Africa with Information Communication and Technology (ICT) jobs by 2020. A primary strategy is the development and expansion of the Impact Sourcing (IS) model in Africa—and DDD is a key player. An Investment of Nearly $100 million Digital Jobs Africa will focus on the large youth population of six African countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.  Over a seven-year period Rockefeller expects to invest $97 million to support the program. The sizeable youth population combined with the growth of the ICT sector holds massive potential for job creation that can bring about lasting social change in a region in dire need of economic development. Digital Jobs Africa has a three-pronged approach:
  • Increasing the potential of the Impact Sourcing sector,
  • Skills development and training, and
  • Supporting an enabling environment for digital jobs.
  Growing Impact Sourcing in Africa will build on the social and commercial success of the model by organizations like DDD-- and encourage mainstream adaptation by more companies in the private sector.  In addition, the focus on skills development will strengthen the talent pool for digital jobs in areas such as service center support, online research, and media tagging. Finally, infrastructure and policy initiatives will provide the necessary broadband and other incentives to generate digital jobs. DDD as a key player “This is unprecedented news, due to the 21st-century employment opportunities that will be created in countries where technology is a critical lever for development,” said Jeremy Hockenstein, CEO and co-founder of DDD, at the Skoll World Forum.  “With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, DDD established a BPO operation in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011. Through Impact Sourcing, we employ 250 youth in Kenya, many of whom come from backgrounds of extreme poverty. With the announcement of the Digital Jobs Africa initiative, we hope to further demonstrate and scale the effectiveness of our model - helping the Rockefeller Foundation achieve its objectives.” DDD’s Impact Sourcing model invests in the personal development of its employees beyond simply providing a job opportunity. DDD’s data management operators (DMOs) are given the opportunity to study and earn degrees that, coupled with their work experience at DDD, will enable them to pursue better career opportunities after graduation. The approach benefits both employees and the enterprise. “Helping our staff build professional skills enables our business to deliver value-added work for clients such as Ancestry.com and Stanford University,” Jeremy noted. “This investment in human potential has a transformative effect, not only for individuals, but also for their families and communities.” Shared commitment to change lives The Rockefeller Foundation’s commitment to Digital Jobs Africa affirms the potential Impact Sourcing holds for disadvantaged youth in Africa and even the rest of the world.  It is also a call to action that there is still much more to do to realize a future in which disadvantaged youth and other marginalized communities are given opportunities to overcome poverty. DDD looks forward to stepping up to help achieve the Rockefeller Foundation’s ambitious vision.