Pathways to Success: Career Accelerator Program Wrap-Up

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    A large group of people, including men and women of various ages, pose together for a photo in a well-lit, indoor space. Some are seated while others stand, all smiling and looking at the camera. Several individuals wear name tags on lanyards.

    Empowering Uganda’s Youth Through Career Development

    In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University and supported by the PMI Uganda Chapter, we launched the Career Accelerator Program (CAP) in Uganda last year. This initiative, targeting 50 young graduates, focused on equipping them with essential professional and personal skills necessary for impactful careers in today’s job market.

    CAP was designed to tackle skills and unemployment challenges faced by young leaders in Uganda. The Africa Careers Network (ACN), the Aspen Institute, and the PMI Uganda Chapter collaborate to bridge the gap between corporate businesses, entrepreneurial organizations, and young talent. Employer partners are encouraged to pledge internship opportunities, providing young leaders with critical work experience and employability skills. The initiative aims to equip young Ugandans with relevant work skills and experiences, addressing the unemployment gap. By fostering an internship culture, we hope other organizations will be inspired to participate, creating a cascading effect that will help close the skills gap and combat youth unemployment across the continent over time. In collaboration with the Aspen Institute and PMI Uganda Chapter, we aim to create at least 50 opportunities in 2023-2024 in a diverse range of industries, aligning career opportunities with students’ fields of study.

    On June 18, 2024, we hosted the closing event, “Pathways to Success: Career Accelerator Program Employer Engagement and Talent Showcase.” This event celebrated the program’s achievements, highlighted the importance of soft and digital skills, and encouraged continuous learning. Graduates participated in structured networking sessions, connecting with potential employers and key stakeholders. The event opened with a presentation on ACN’s history and impact model, focusing on developing young leaders who positively influence their communities. We discussed employability trends in Uganda, setting the stage for the day’s discussions.

    Grace Nshemeire-Gwaku, COO of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, delivered a keynote address on youth unemployment and employment program opportunities. Two-panel discussions followed, covering critical topics such as the importance of soft skills, digital readiness, and support interventions. Notable panelists included:

    • Dr. Kayondo Jane Kengeya, Founder of ROUTE International
    • James Katumba, Board Member at PMI Uganda Chapter
    • Dr. Noeline Kirabo, Director of Operations at Kyusa Academy
    • Joshua Okino, Consulting Partner at the Vision555 Company
    • Ambrose Onapa, Founder & CEO of TAL Youth Uganda

    A fireside chat with Wilfrid Ahouansou, Program Manager of University Partnerships at ALA, and Eva Nabasumba, Transition Lead at the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, showcased talent development milestones and student profiles. The event concluded with group interviews between students and employers, fostering direct engagement.

    The “Pathways to Success” event fostered strong connections among stakeholders, promoting internships and facilitating networking. Key outcomes included:

    • Strengthening Partnerships: Building sustainable job opportunities through stakeholder collaboration.
    • Promoting Internship Culture: Highlighting the value of internships for gaining work experience.
    • Facilitating Networking: Providing a platform for students to connect with potential employers.

    We aim to expand our network of employer partners and maintain relationships forged during the event to support ongoing youth employment initiatives.

    The event’s success underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing youth unemployment. We are grateful to all speakers, partners, and students who contributed to this milestone event, setting a strong foundation for future initiatives to empower Uganda’s youth.