According to the Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Survey for the fourth quarter of 2020 released on February 202, South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 1,7 percentage points to 32,5% in Q4:2020 compared to Q3:2020. Approximately 3,1 million (29,8%) out of 10,3 million young people aged 15-24 years were not in employment, education, or training (NEET). The overall NEET rate declined by 2,2 percentage points in Q4:2020 compared to Q4:2019. Effectively South African youth aged 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 63,2% and 41,2% respectively. The unemployment rate among the black African (36,5%) population group remains higher than the national average and other population groups. Black African women, like the youth, are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of 38,5%. These statistics reflect the impact of COVID-19 related lockdown restrictions and the junk status pronounced by the rating agencies on the eve and during the lockdown restrictions.
Overall, South Africa and its youth faces the following challenges:
• Unemployment rate is increasing unabated year on year.
• Lack of access to ICT resources for disadvantaged communities.
• The growing gender and digital divide.
• Clients demand for competitive pricing and quality goods and services.
• Insufficient programs to convert income seekers to entrepreneurs that own sustainable business.
To address this challenges, nonprofit organisation AfricaBeyond4IR’s (AB4IR’s) Digital Hub will be hosting their second instalment of the Digital Youth Festival during June and overlapping into the first week of July 2022. In 2021 the event was hosted in three provinces, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Eastern Cape. The event has since grown in leaps and bound to include two more provinces taking the number of the provinces to be visited to and the provinces are now as follows: Gauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northwest, Free State.
Digital Youth Festival (DYF) is aimed at creating a platform for exposing South African youth from disadvantaged communities to digital creative industries opportunities? The COVID- 19 pandemic inevitably accelerated and forced the world into the digital space where 4IR (the fourth industrial revolution) took the center stage. Whilst this could be viewed as further widening of the digital divide, it created an opportunity for AB4IR to create an enabling environment for the youth to explore and exploit benefits of the digital revolution. The inaugural festival in 2021 was hosted as a hybrid (physical and virtual) event in Gauteng Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces during the Youth month of June. The vision for the event has been and remains to offer host the event in all nine provinces. In the 2022/23 financial year we are growing the event from three provinces to five provinces with the help of partners and sponsors.
The objectives of the Digital Youth Festival are to:
• Raise awareness of opportunities inherent in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and beyond
• Encourage youth to be innovative and participate in technological revolution and the digital economy
• Promote innovative entrepreneurship.
• Encourage youth participation in the digital economy.
In 2021, the festival was a great success and it attracted over 7 000 participants. The festival is expected to be bigger and better in 2022 and it will discuss the following topics:
• Design thinking and Ideation
• Aviation opportunities
• Gaming and animation
• Future jobs and skills
• Funding opportunities • Digital trends
• Entrepreneurial journey
The festival will offer the following elements:
• Exhibitions and technology demonstration
• Business pitching
• E-Sport tournament
AB4IR is a Digital Hub, located in Mabopane Odi Campus and is a collaboration between the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and the Tshwane South Technical and Vocational Education and Training College and it empowers the youth in Mabopane, Hebron, Klipgat, Soshanguve and Garankuwa with a focus on technology, innovation and incubation. The facility provides services such as an incubation programme focusing on animation and gaming, as well as mentorship, networking and collaborative opportunities for entrepreneurs. “Despite Africa being one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world, entrepreneurs’ participation in the gaming and animation technology sector remains considerably low. AB4IR aims to bridge the digital divide to empower communities through technology, innovation and incubation, As we empower the youth in the areas of technology, innovation, and business incubation, we understand how technology is a part of our daily lives and the fourth industrial revolution is upon us all. Our priority is to develop the youth and make sure that we empower them with future skills to take up space and ensure that they are included in the digital economy,” said Kelebegile Molopyane, CEO of AB4IR.
The Digital Hub also hosts various events that are intended at empowering the youth and women and communities in Gauteng, amongst those programmes is the Drone Diva Programme, Women in Innovation Incubation and Technology Summit, Animation bootcamp and pitching session to ensure that the entrepreneurs businesses are accelerated to upsale and commercialise their technologies.
To learn more about AB4IR , kindly visit https://ab4ir.org/about-us/ 5454 Mangope Rd Mabopane Unit M Mabopane, 0190
Tel: 012 023 1761