The Africa Internship Academy (AIA), founded by Emmanuel Leslie Addae, and Daniel Amoako Antwi is a youth employment accelerator based in Accra, Ghana. AIA provides work readiness and entrepreneurship programs for young students and connects program participants to employers as well as industry mentors. AIA’s innovative model is currently operating in Ghana with plans to expand through Africa in an effort to create a Pan-African network of connections between young talent and employers.
According to research from the African Center for Economic Transformation, “jobless growth is Ghana’s biggest youth challenge.” Young people under 35 make up around a third of Ghana’s population and represent the fastest growing demographic group in Ghana and throughout the African continent and youth under 15 years of age represent almost 41% of the African population. Economic growth has not translated into enough jobs for this growing population and many youth find work in vulnerable and informal employment.
Africa is home to the majority of the world’s population growth and many see this population growth as an opportunity to harness a demographic dividendin the context of global aging in countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom. Employment opportunities and skills training are vitally important for social and economic wellbeing of African countries, and AIA is pioneering innovative models to connect youth to employers and address current skills gaps in Ghana and throughout Africa.
Employer Contracting: AIA works to build partnerships with employers to establish placement pipelines from cohorts of talented young people receiving training from AIA.
Job Matching: AIA employs innovative technology and assessment methodology to match students with contextualized work opportunities based on their experience and skillset through their talent searching platform called TalentsinAfrica.
Work-Readiness Bridging: AIA provides a holistic curriculum for young talent including training in time management skills, problem solving skills, design thinking, communication and budgeting. Among other programs, AIA provides training in Agribusiness to equip with practical skills in agriculture to support the growth of competitive agro-processing enterprises.
Linking and Referring Candidates: AIA offers a range of employment opportunities for youth involved in AIA programming including arranging interviews with employer partners across the continent.
Mentorship Programmes: AIA links youth to mentors in a wide range of fields who serve to support the personal and professional development of AIA Fellows and Interns.
Fellows Management: AIA eases young people’s transitions into the world of work and tracks Fellows’ placements and retention rates.
Support Public Sector Efforts through Scalable Training Modules: AIA supports initiatives of the Government of Ghana through providing trainings on work integrated learning. AIA has developed models to train young people participating in Ghana’s National Service Scheme, a mandated program that every Ghanaian student completes after university.
Use a Holistic Approach: AIA takes a holistic approach to supporting youth with support for both personal and professional development.
Form Strategic Partnerships Across Sectors:
AIA is working to reduce youth unemployment throughout the African continent through grooming talented youth as changemakers in their respective societies. AIA aims to build a Pan-African network of talented youth and employers to remove the challenges in connecting youth to employment opportunities.