The MasterCard Foundation and Camfed announced Monday, Sept 23rd their 2010 Clinton Global Initiative joint commitment to reach 270,000 young people in rural Ghana and Malawi with secondary education, financial literacy and business skills, and information and communications technology training.
More than one million people in rural Africa are expected to benefit from the commitment, which is backed by a $10.1 million contribution from The MasterCard Foundation.
To fulfill this commitment, Camfed will scale up its education programs in Ghana and Malawi over the next five years, expanding financial literacy and business skills training through its alumni network.
The organization will also pilot an innovative internship program designed to build a more diversified local economy, catalyzed by the leadership of young African women. As a partner in the scale-up, Google is donating $360,000 that will result in ICT training to 1,000 members of Cama, Camfed’s alumni network, to increase their employability, delivered through ICT centers that will serve as hubs for entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Adolescent girls and women in rural Africa face great barriers to economic empowerment,” said Ann Cotton, Camfed’s executive director.
“By providing thousands of girls and women with vital knowledge and skills, this partnership will equip a critical mass of young women to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty and lead economic growth in their communities.”
Only 43 percent of girls in Ghana and 23 percent of girls in Malawi are able to complete secondary school because the cost is beyond their families’ means.
Even for girls who do complete school, job opportunities in rural areas are extremely limited. This commitment creates a continuum of support for girls by enabling them to complete secondary school, launch new businesses and bring growth enterprises to their rural communities.