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CICan joins the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative in Kenya

Ottawa, Canada, February 21, 2020 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has announced a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative in Kenya. By working closely with Kenyan partners and post-secondary institutions, CICan will contribute to the Mastercard Foundation’s goal of enabling 30 million young Africans, particularly young women, in dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

The Young Africa Works TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) program in Kenya will focus on strengthening skills training programs for the key economic growth sectors identified in Kenya’s Vision 2030 and its Big Four agenda – Agriculture, Health, Manufacturing, Housing. With significant attention on digital skills training, the program will provide tools, systems and approaches that can be applied across a variety of training sectors and in Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions across the country.

The five-year project will be implemented by harnessing both Kenyan and Canadian expertise to develop TVET Centres of Excellence in Kenya. It will include a focus on curriculum development, training of trainers, prior learning assessment and recognition, the delivery of life skills/employability curricula, and work placements for trainees.

CICan’s work will also address the need for safe learning spaces to increase the participation of youth, specifically young women, in training that leads to employment. By enhancing partnerships with the private sector to address skills gaps and to build a more dynamic, innovation focused TVET ecosystem, as trainees, young women and men will access employment or create work opportunities.


“We couldn’t be happier to join forces with the Mastercard Foundation. Our members have a long history of delivering education for employment in Canada, and we have been working with international partners for over 45 years to help strengthen their own post-secondary institutions. We share the Foundation’s optimism about Africa, and by working together, I am confident that we can have a lasting impact on the lives of young Kenyans and help them to gain the skills they need to succeed.”
Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

“The TVET Program is a critical component of Young Africa Works as this will increase the participation of young Kenyans, particularly young women, in market-relevant skills training programs. This investment will prepare and equip young people for work opportunities that will grow the economy and transform their lives, families, and communities.”
Daniel Hailu, Regional Head of Eastern & Southern Africa & Kenya Country Head, Mastercard Foundation

“As a former student at Kisumu National Polytechnic, I experienced the many benefits of a TVET institution and benefited greatly from professionally trained tutors, student involvement, and by taking part in a research project. Industrial practicums also helped me a lot, especially in learning more about my career at the grassroots level. I am now skilled and equipped to practice my career due to the training I received. Most importantly, I believe TVET offers quality education for ALL regardless of race, age, gender orientation, nationality, and personal disability.”
Yvonne Ogollah, Alumni of Kisumu National Polytechnic


 About the Mastercard Foundation:
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own President and CEO and Board of Directors. The Foundation has hubs in Toronto, Kigali, Nairobi, and Accra. Visit for more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.


For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Phone: 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter: @CollegeCan