Supporting the Learning to Earning Journey of Youth Worldwide

Past and Current Partners

GIZ, Generation Unlimited, RLabs, Fondation Botnar, Austrian Development Agency, Goodwall, atingi, African Coding Network, Umuzi, University of Geneva, DiDx

Active Countries
"Nigeria South Africa Benin Côte d'Ivoire Burundi Kenya Uganda Trinidad and Tobago"
Thematic area(s)
Other, inclusive growth, gender
Open Source, Digital Public Good, Marketplace, Whitelabel, Blockchain, Digital Token, SSI
Organisation Name
UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) and Generation Unlimited (GenU)

The Problem

South and East Africa's youth (15-24 years) make up around 60 % of the total population which is predicted to increase by 42 % in 2030. Many of these young people are not in formal employment and are three times more likely to be unemployed compared to adults. According to the ILO, more than 20 % of 15- to 24-year-olds in Africa are without work. A lack of access to training, insufficient work experience and limited financial resources are just some of the reasons for this. (Self-) Employment however is fundamental for a country's economic growth and development. While there are many existing programmes and initiatives that have attempted to respond to the unemployment and wellbeing crisis, most of them do not take an integrated and holistic approach.

The Solution

Yoma proposes individualised learning to earning pathways that put the youth at the centre, provides and aligns opportunities with their aspirations, potential, and the market demand. Yoma provides free access to (1) high-quality informal learning and employment opportunities and (2) consecutive learning to earning pathways in which youth can navigate in a self-directed and customised manner.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Youth navigate to the Yoma site, create a Yoma account with minimal data requirements and fill in a digital CV.
  • Step 2: Youth navigate to the Opportunities section and sign up to an opportunity.
  • Step 3. Youth are redirected to a respective partner's platform to complete the opportunity.
  • Step 4: Youth return to the Yoma platform to submit details and evidence of completion for verification.
  • Step 5: Youth is issued credentials, the opportunity is added to their digital CV, and where applicable, Yoma’s digital Token Zlto is awarded. It can be redeemed for different goods, e.g. airtime.
Digital X Solution Yoma

Bridging the digital divide

Yoma focusses on promoting different levels of accessibility, including connectivity, digital literacy, aptitude and affordability. To reduce disparities in terms of access to hardware or connectivity, Yoma is building adapted technological solutions that reduce the bandwidth required and/or building on SMS technologies. Following that, a lean Yoma mobile version and an App will be develped. Besides, Yoma offerings convey transferable skills that enable youth to learn, collaborate and communicate effectively and safely online. Lastly, Yoma rewards the completion of offerings with tokens (Zltos), which can be e.g. redeemed for airtime, thereby compensating for the costs arisen due to their engagement on the platform.

Impact and highlights

2,465,510 youth engagements in Yoma related activities. Over 105,000 registered users on Yoma Platform (Top 3 performing countries: Nigeria (90,000), Kenya (7500), South Africa (3000). 45,500 opportunity completions from the youths on various opportunities available on the platform and the youth have gained certificates.40,000 youth have been awarded over 8.000.000 digital tokens (Zltos), worth 170.000 USD, as incentives which can be redeemed for various goods/services, e.g. airtime on the Yoma Marketplace (for now: Zlto redemption possible in South Africa and Nigeria)Gender transformative Yoma Pathway has been established in Kenya and Nigeria. Participants earn a professional certificate with Google and Meta. From 4200 participants invited (83% women): 270 (81% women) have already completed the Programme. Of women: 98% reported that the Programme affirmed them in believing that tech careers are appropriate for females' 88% are pursuing further studies or looking for a job relevant to the learning opportunities.10 youth have secured paid internships within the Yoma ecosystem partners. 20 Yoma Youth Council members, from whom 50% are female, are actively involved in Yoma's governance, decision making process and the local implementation of the project.

Plans for expansion

The Yoma ecosystem is expanding globally, enabled by the technical platform. As part of this expansion, the platform and the offerings are currently being adapted to the local requirements of other country contexts and regions. Localisation in these countries generally include translations, adaptations and contextualisation of the look-and-feel and integrations with other local and regional platforms, partner ecosystems and youth initiatives. The expansion of Yoma is supported by regional Yoma hubs that are currently being established to support other countries with the implementation, e.g. Nigeria as the hub for Western Africa and South Africa as the hub for Southern Africa.