On Thursday, Trace and the Mastercard Foundation launched Trace Academia, a free-to-use, interactive, mobile-based learning application that aims to enable 26 million young Africans to acquire on-demand, market-relevant skills.

Trace Academia is available on Android and iOS and has already been tested in 4 African countries. Users can access courses in one of two languages: English and French. Portuguese courses will soon be launched.

The learning content will include technical courses relevant to 15 different industries— including courses in energy, beauty, fashion, DIY, digital marketing, hospitality, creative arts, journalism, film, and technology—as well courses that are more broadly relevant, such as entrepreneurship, public speaking, and personal wellness. Each course featured on the application has been designed in collaboration with an industry-leading organization to ensure its relevance to employers and the job market.

“Our courses and certificates are created in partnership with influential players across the industry, governments, and non-profit sector. This free, easy-to-use app aims to train 26 million African youth by 2026 with the skills they need to find or create work and the opportunities to kickstart their careers. I strongly believe that their current circumstances should never be a hindrance to their success,” said Olivier Laouchez, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Trace.

“Two things are particularly exciting about Trace Academia. One is that the platform offers young people total flexibility and control over their learning. Users can learn at their own pace, in their own time, and customize their journey to the emergent demands they face as they navigate the world of work. Second, the courses are deeply practical and designed in collaboration with market-leading organizations to ensure they are industry-relevant,” he said.

“The Mastercard Foundation is pleased to support this platform as part of our Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young people to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030,” said Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer at the Mastercard Foundation.

The new platform represents an important contribution to the youth employment agenda in Africa. As the youngest continent in the world, with nearly 65 percent of its population under the age of 25, Africa is home to the workforce of the future, and with the right skills and opportunities, young people will be the continent’s greatest drivers of transformation.


Edited by Zintle Nkohla

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