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CAPSI and Mastercard Foundation Partner on Project Geared Towards Youth Employment Research

- Wits University

The project will be carried out in cooperation with an African-led network of academic institutions and will include research and knowledge dissemination.

The Mastercard Foundation has provided support to the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School to enable vital research on knowledge and  opportunities emanating from the Foundation’s Young Africa Works Strategy.

The Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young Africans to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030, mirrors CAPSI’s mission of creating new possibilities for Africans by training new cohorts of academics and researchers in the non-profit sector and changing the African narrative with emphasis on self reliance and African solutions.

Additionally, the non-profit sector's research in employment creation for young people in Africa will produce significant metrics and data that the private sector, decision-makers, and society at large will require to better the lives of young people.

The five-year support of $7.8 million (about R140 milllion) will be undertaken in collaboration with an autonomous African-led network of researchers and institutions in selected African countries and will concentrate on the contributions of the non-profit sector to African economies, with a specific focus on enabling young people in Africa to secure dignified and fulfilling work.

There are three objectives that will be fulfilled through this project:

  1. Produce data and knowledge that details the extent to which the non-profit sector in 17 African countries is able to create decent, dignified and fulfilling employment opportunities for young people between the ages of 15 and 35.
  2. Train 20 doctoral students over a period of five years from across African universities in the disciplines of social entrepreneurship, job creation, technology inclusion, financial inclusion, enterprise development, and youth studies. Such training is expected to propel further research and development of impactful youth employment in Africa.
  3. Enable sustainable and reliable knowledge generation that will benefit all parties through the provision of measurement frameworks, data for decision-making and a digital hub that is functional for the purposes of matching the needs and opportunities of young Africans with dignified employment.

“The role played by the non-profit sector is generally underestimated in many economies. Several anecdotes exist in every country about how the non-profit sector keeps society cohesive and glued together through social and economic functions. Few studies have been conducted in this regard, such as the Johns Hopkins project on the size and scope of the non-profit sector in only about three African countries. This support from the Mastercard Foundation provides us a once off opportunity to test the hypothesis that the non-profit sector is a major force to be reckoned with in African societies,” says Professor Bhekinkosi Moyo, Director of CAPSI.

The research will be undertaken in the following 17 African countries:

  1. Burkina Faso
  2. Cote d’Ivoire
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Egypt
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Ghana
  7. Kenya
  8. Morocco
  9. Mozambique
  10. Nigeria
  11. Rwanda
  12. South Africa
  13. Senegal
  14. Tanzania
  15. Uganda
  16. Zambia
  17. Zimbabwe

About the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI)

Founded in 2017 and situated within Wits Business School, CAPSI aspires to nurture a new generation of African experts, researchers and leaders in African Philanthropy, Social Investment and related disciplines. The Centre serves as a source of knowledge and learning, a platform for partnerships, and a hub for community engagement for participating organisations and institutions across and for the benefit of Africa. CAPSI’s portfolio of offerings include postgraduate academic programmes, short courses, masterclasses, post-doctoral fellowships, publications and partner-collaborated research and development projects in the fields of social investment and philanthropy.

For more information on CAPSI, please visit:

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. It was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is an independent organization and its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its own Board of Directors and senior leadership team. It is a registered Canadian charity with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra and Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. 

For more information on the Foundation, please visit: