80 unemployed youth from Eastern and Western Cape were given an innovative opportunity to access fourth industrial revolution opportunities, through a unique training and education intervention initiated by local NPO Abaguquli.
Abaguquli – which means transformers in Zulu – is a non-profit organisation founded on the philosophy of transforming lives through education and innovation. They offer a range of training interventions with the specific aim of enabling youth to become financially independent through freelancing work opportunities, co-operatives, and small businesses that address the daily needs of life and industry in the technology era.
The learners, 40 from Elsies River Western Cape and 40 from Gqeberha Eastern Cape have participated in a 4-month programme aimed at addressing the current skills and qualifications required to earn a living or generate an income.
Students learn how to build a website to promote their personal profiles as a freelancer or micro business. They’re exposed to eCommerce, apps, bots, and plugins to make their websites work for them. Each student leaves with the digital marketing skills to promote their business website online as well as the ability to pitch their skills and vie for paying gigs on freelancer platforms.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Build a website with Yola.com. Sites are eCommerce enabled allowing learners to sell products, chat with customers, and book appointments online.
- Promote their profile and micro-business on social media platforms and to sell their skills on freelancer marketplaces.
“The high youth unemployment rate in South Africa, particularly unemployed graduates, means we need a different model and a different approach for young people,” says Aasiyah Adams CEO and Founder of Abaguquli.
“We need tech-savvy young people that are able to start businesses and service clients around the world through remote working opportunities,” added Adams.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0 as it is also commonly referred to, is the age of digitisation, automation, smart cities, and factories. 4IR is not just about technology, but also about integration, about greater productivity and efficiency, and includes advancements that have pervaded every aspect of modern life.
“Whilst the local economy doesn’t currently have the capacity to absorb unemployed youth en masse, this era of tech innovation and global economic growth, is a means for youth to unlock market opportunities beyond their geographic location to generate an income,” Adams continued.
In addition to this cohort of upcoming graduates, Abaguquli, which only started operating in 2020, has already seen over 200 learners from Western Cape and Gauteng achieve their remote pilot license (SACAA drone license). They’ve also rolled out courses in 3D printing, Laser printing, Coding, and Arduino electronics as well as 3D mapping for precision agriculture.
Abaguquli is currently working on building mobile labs, fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology, drone simulators, and a humanoid, where learners can explore coding, artificial intelligence, data analysis, robotics, and other 4IR skills.
The objective is to drive the trucks to remote rural areas to create awareness and run mini-workshops to educate young minds about future skills. Abaguquli wants to reach out to marginilised individuals and in areas where unemployment and poverty are high. Their vision is that young people could choose careers and paths that will create financial independence through E-commerce and remote working opportunities presented globally.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity for these rural communities and am currently engaging with stakeholders in this regard,” added Adams.
This group of 80 learners graduated on 18 June in Elsies River Western Cape and 25 June in Gqeberha Eastern Cape.
“We are so proud of these young men and women that have pushed through many hardships, misfortunes, and even some physical disabilities to take the reigns of their own futures,” concluded Adams.