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Founder story: Digify Africa

Digify Africa aims to equip young Africans with the tools needed to launch and sustain their careers and businesses in the digital economy.

Digify Africa team members at the Injini Mastercard Foundation kick-off event


In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital era, where connectivity and skills shape the future, but access remains an issue to many, Digify Africa aims to address the low digital literacy levels in South Africa and across the continent. Founded by Gavin Weale in 2014, Digify Africa is a youth-led organisation with a mission to bring digital skills to young people from all walks of life, empowering them to navigate the opportunities of the digital economy.


Gavin Weale's journey with Digify Africa traces back to the organisation's predecessor, Livity Africa, which shook up the status quo in 2011 with Live Magazine, the first youth-led publication in South Africa. Live Mag became a testament to the transformative power of digital connectivity, showcasing the potential to change lives through vocational learning. However, the realisation struck that without basic digital skills, many couldn't fully harness the economic opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution - the digital divide was obvious.


In response to this digital divide, Digify Africa was born. The organisation offers accessible, youth-centred learning programmes across ten African countries. With a focus on critical skills demanded by the industry, Digify Africa aims to equip young Africans with the tools needed to launch and sustain their careers and businesses in the digital economy.


Digify Africa leverages Africa's most valuable natural resource—its youth—as a solution to one of its most critical challenges: youth unemployment. Their impact speaks volumes, with over 100,000 youth-trained professionals, 500+ Live Mag graduates, and a network of more than 200 trainers collaborating with 40+ agency partners.


The flagship initiative, DigifyPro, is an award-winning 10-week Digital Marketing boot camp powered by Facebook. With a success rate of over 90% in job placement, it has become a cornerstone in transforming unemployed individuals into competent digital marketing professionals. The impact extends to other programmes like Digify General Practitioners, focusing on rural areas, Digify Bytes, a digital literacy initiative authorised by the British High Commission, and Ilizwe Lam, an internet safety skills campaign for high school learners.


Digify Africa's commitment to reaching marginalised communities is evident in Kitso, an innovative WhatsApp bot providing online safety skills to those with limited data access. The Meta Boost programme offers free workshops to entrepreneurs, empowering them to enhance their digital footprint using platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.


Naledi and Lesedi, both also on WhatsApp, cater specifically to entrepreneurs and young adults, providing convenient learning platforms for digital marketing skills and digital literacy, respectively. The Trainer Network, comprising dynamic and dedicated youth trainers, accelerates Digify Africa's impact by delivering programmes in various languages across communities.


As Digify Africa continues to bridge the digital divide, their vision and leadership underscore the organisation's commitment to creating a future where an entire generation of African youth uses the growing digital economy to build and sustain livelihoods. Digify Africa isn't just training; it's empowering, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond individual lives and contributes to the transformation and economic development of the continent.


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