The Skoll Foundation announced today that Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has received the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, the prestigious award recognises change agents whose innovations have had a significant and proven impact on the world’s most pressing problems. It is a select honour that has only been given to approximately 100 organisations globally since its inception. This announcement comes ahead of the Skoll World Forum being held next week in Oxford, England.

Harambee has been recognised for its contribution to addressing youth employment through innovative solutions that are scalable and impactful. The organisation’s focus on strategic partnerships with the private sector and government was also noted as critical to its success.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth Rosemary Mbabazi said, “We congratulate Harambee for receiving the Skoll Award for their efforts in scaling up economic opportunities for young people. Rwanda’s youth are motivated, talented and have great potential to succeed in whatever they undertake. That’s why we are excited about the government’s partnership with Harambee to accelerate youth employment and support young people to excel in the world of work.”

Harambee CEO, Maryana Iskander, added: “In Rwanda, we have worked with the private sector and government to deliver results that are changing individual lives and also changing systems. We share this recognition with our community of partners, and also with Harambee’s network of nearly 2,000 work-seekers who teach us every day what more is needed to accelerate youth employment.”

Founded in South Africa, Harambee is building African solutions to the global challenge of youth unemployment. Since 2018, it has partnered with the Government of Rwanda – through the Ministry of Youth and the Rwanda Development Board – as well as private sector businesses to support innovative initiatives to grow new jobs and equip young people with the skills, information and knowledge they need to excel in the labour market.