Susan Mboya-Kidero, president of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation told CNBC Africa on the side-lines of WEF Africa that companies should look for ways of absorbing youths as to leverage skills and experience.
“Empowering youths is critical for Africa given that a lot of youths reside here, to some degree it is going to be up to governments and corporates to find innovative ways to absorb youths coming out of schools.”
“We have to look across our value chain so we know how we can help youths attain skills and entrepreneurial skills,” added Mboya-Kidero.
“Corporates and governments have to play a part in in funding youth initiatives. It is encouraging that some governments are setting aside funding to help fund these start-ups.”
Mboya-Kidero noted that to achieve that united effort was required from government, corporates and the non-governmental organisations sector.
She said that growth is supposed to be all encompassing ensuring that communities benefit as companies grow.
“Our company believes in inclusive business, we believe our continent cannot grow if our people are not growing. We want to grow our business in a way that will benefit our community an example is our women empowerment initiative where we are targeting to empower five million women by the year 2020 in three of our regions.”
“We are working with a number of partners to increase access to assets for women and access to financing and business skills training.”
On water, Mboya-Kidero said, governments are making efforts as such projects require huge infrastructure that takes time to put in place.
“What coca cola is doing is filling those gaps through Replenish Africa Initiative, a 30 million US dollar commitment that seeks to provide access to safe water and sanitation to two million Africans by the year 2015.”
Mboya-Kidero noted that her company was also looking to preserve and replenish clean water sources on the continent and also promoting hygiene.
“Every country and government recognises that water is the very bases of health communities without which communities and Africa cannot grow.”
BY TRUST MATSILELE