Young Africa Works

Building a network of entrepreneurs and an innovative community of change-makers in alignment with employment strategies set by the Ghanaian government. 

Our Goal: Enable three million young people to secure work by 2030.

Context: The current rates of under- and unemployment in Ghana are 42 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Our Approach: With a focus on young entrepreneurial women, provide future business leaders with access to business development skills, financing, and marketplaces. Also, identify growing sectors of the economy and strengthen education in these areas, placing priority on digital training and technology-focused employment. 

Priority sectors: Focus on areas that offer strong potential for creating work for young people, as well as informal settings to support women’s entrepreneurship. These sectors and settings include agriculture, tourism, and hospitality—each underpinned by digital technology. 

Learn More About the Work We Do in Ghana

In 2021, the Mastercard Foundation partnered with IDH on a Grains for Growth (G4G) program, to contribute to the development of the grains sector in Ghana, support the inclusion of smallholder farmers, and create jobs with a central focus on women and youth empowerment. Through the Grains for Growth program, AMAATI aims to enable opportunities for women and youth farmers in Ghana. Together, we’re fostering gender equality and community development, cultivating a future where they can thrive, break barriers, and lead with resilience.


News and Announcements

GEA and the Mastercard Foundation Partner to Empower 250,000 Young Ghanaians through BizBox Program

GEA and the Mastercard Foundation announced the start of a sensitization campaign for the groundbreaking Business in a Box (BizBox) program.

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Thirteen Ghanaian Professionals Graduate from the Inaugural Young Impact Associates Program

Inspired by the late Ghanaian thought leader in the MEL and International Development sectors, Sulley Gariba, the Mastercard Foundation launched the YIA Program in 2022, with the aspiration to engage and inspire a new and dynamic generation of young African professionals to transform the Impact Measurement field.

Learn more about the graduates

Breaking Barriers for Ghanaian Women in Tech

In a new video series, we highlight women’s voices in Ghana’s growing tech ecosystem on closing the digital gender gap. The Mastercard Foundation’s Gender and Safeguarding Community of Practice (CoP) interviewed program participants to showcase the instrumental role of women in Africa’s digital transformation. In the first episode of the series, young women discuss actions needed to improve women’s access to technology.

Watch now

2020 Social Venture Challenge Winners: Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub

“[I]n Ghana, the female population is underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. As a team, we want to use the motivational effects of robotics and mentorship to ignite their desire for STEM programs and bridge the gap between young men and women when it comes to the interest in pursuing STEM programs in Ghana.”—Ofori Richard and Yamoah Veronica  

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Debut Mastercard Foundation Scholars Alumni Survey Provides a Snapshot of Post-Grad Life

In June 2020, the Scholars Program launched its first-ever alumni survey. Nearly 4,000 participated virtually—an estimated 30 percent response rate. The insights gleaned are proving invaluable for future Scholars.  

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An Audacious Strategy to Ensure Young Africa Works

The Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy outlines plan for three million young people in Ghana to access opportunities for work.

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Five Things Young People in Ghana Want for Their Future

The Overseas Development Institute sought to better understand the aspirations of young people in Ghana as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Youth Forward initiative.

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