MTN Eswatini is supporting a group of 45 young people to acquire vocational training at the Mpaka Vocational Education Training Centre Eswatini through a project valued at E100, 000. MTN Foundation runs this program as a calculated attempt to equip young people with vocational skills that would enable them to either find or create jobs for themselves and others. Junior Achievement is the implementing partner for this project.

Last year, MTN invested E100 000 in the same project, benefitting 54 young people who are equipped with vocational skills. 

“We are excited to launch the second phase of the same project valued at E100 000, which will benefit 45 young people to be trained in a range of modules that will empower them to be entrepreneurs,” said MTN Board Chairperson, Busisiwe Simelane during the official cheque handover. 

Simelane encouraged young people who are part of the program to “give it their best shot because they have an opportunity that others only wish they had.”

Some of the modules they will go through during the training include, but not limited to the following: entrepreneurship, traits of an entrepreneur, ideation, brainstorming, innovation, creativity, product selection, how to finance a business, market research and mentoring.  

Simelane commended Junior Achievement and Mpaka Vocational Education Training Centre for the partnership.

“As a Foundation, this investment contributes towards addressing unemployment in the Kingdom of Eswatini, which Government has set out to address in the measured steps, in the next five years,” she said. 

Junior Achievement Executive Director Phetsile Masilela said the new batch of young people had already started their training. 

“Beneficiaries in this project are in the third month of their training now. The project launch was delayed due to challenges related to the COVID-19. In about four weeks, the participants will start going through their mentorship phase,” she explained.   

Masilela said they appreciate the support from MTN Eswatini in this project which is on its second phase. She said the contribution by MTN demonstrates, in practical terms, how the company is investing in youth enterprise development in line with its corporate social investment strategy. 

Junior Achievement Executive Director said one key lesson learnt from the first year of the project was that combining vocational skills and entrepreneurship is a brilliant and viable idea that effectively provides holistic empowerment to young people.

“Not only does it make them technically competent, and equipped to run successful companies with guidance on entrepreneurship – in the event they do not secure jobs,” she clarified.

The MTN Foundation has prioritized support for vocational education and training since 2017. This project seeks to address youth unemployment in Eswatini, which remains one of the key socio-economic challenges.

The MTN Foundation broke into vocational training support in 2016. On a two-year, the MTN Foundation partnered with Young Heroes and Skills Training Centers to scale up support to young people to acquire vocational education