International Youth Day

How Nestlé is supporting youth in Central and West Africa

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At Nestlé, we believe that helping to develop thriving, resilient communities starts with education and promoting decent employment and diversity. Our goals to impact the lives of young people are part of our ambition to helping improve the lives of 30 million people living in communities directly connected to our business activities. This forms one of our three long-term ambitions and 42 commitments – in support of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) – set out in the ‘Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments 2016’ report.

According to the International Labour Organization, about 13.1% of youth across the globe are unemployed. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we are committed to tackle this problem and to make a positive and proactive difference to young people, directly and through our contractors. In Central and West Africa, we help to address youth unemployment by supporting young people, especially women and girls, to be economically and socially active and independent.

We want to help equip the next generation for employment, or to become entrepreneurs wherever they live. We do this by offering internship, creating traineeships, apprenticeship and job opportunities for young people at our sites across the region, while also addressing the UN SDG Goal 8, which aims to ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all’.

International Youth Day 2017

Our efforts to support young people highlight the importance of International Youth Day on August 12, with this year’s theme focusing on ‘Youth Building Peace’. The annual event celebrates the contribution of young people to transformation, social justice and sustainable peace.

Global Youth Initiative

At Nestlé, to celebrate the day, we focus on our commitment to supporting young people worldwide through the rollout of the Nestlé Global Youth Initiative across all our operations. Through the initiative, we provide training and job opportunities to ensure young people can gain skills and make a positive contribution. We work with external partners to motivate them to join and to increase the impact of the iniative in the lives of young people.

Through the scheme, we aim to deliver 45,000-50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, and 20,000-25,000 jobs for people aged under 30 each year, by 2020.

Last year, we extended the initiative to Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa to create more than 3,000 apprenticeships and traineeships opportunities, and provide readiness-for-work training for more than 300,000 young people in African countries by 2018.

In Central and West Africa, our youth training programme at the Technical Training Centre in Agbara in Nigeria and Yopougon in Côte d’Ivoire is part of the initiative, which is helping to develop and train young engineers. A total of 28 students completed the training in Nestlé Nigeria by 2015, out of which 21 took up employment at Nestlé Nigeria and others have since taken opportunities with other organizations.

Across the region, more than 40 young people have been recruited as full time employees and over 100 interns were given opportunities under Nestlé CWAR’s internship programme this year.

In 2016, 23 young talents started the Management Trainee Program in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Boosting youth entrepreneurship

We are continuing to support youth in Central and West Africa by creating job opportunities.

The ‘My Own Business’ (MYOWBU) street-vending programme and ‘pushcart’ initiative, led by our company’s out-of-home business Nestlé Professional, provide young people and adults across the region with the skills and expertise they need to run their own successful small businesses.

It guides operators to manage their own micro-enterprise and gives them training on sales, management, hygiene, safety and quality standards. The operators then recruit and employ an average of about eight to ten street vendors to sell brands such as Nescafé and Milo in cups at busy public areas such as stadia, open markets and bus stops.

To date, more than 4,900 operators and vendors have taken part in both programmes in the region.

Inspiring talented youth

We are also inspiring young people to build entrepreneurial skills while creating value for society, by helping them establish strong social enterprises.

Nescafé in 2014 introduced the Nescafé Get Started Africa initiative that challenges young people to build a better society through innovation. 22 year old Malian Korotoumou Sidibé was the 2016 winner of the Nescafé Get Started Africa initiative. She was passionate about guaranteeing food security in Africa. Her innovative plan for tackling the problem of food waste earned her the top prize of USD30, 000. Her winning idea won because of its impact in eliminating food waste by paying food producers to convert supplies that would have been thrown away into products that can still be used. Food waste can occur in Africa at harvest, during transportation and in storage. Simply by changing practices at those key stages, Korotoumou, an agriculture student, believed mountains of wasted food could be used for good. At the same time, small farmers across the continent could benefit from extra income.

Earlier in 2016, Nestlé coffee brand Nescafé partnered with the popular television programme “Got Talent” to find, empower and support the best of African talent, and help them express themselves and get started through Africa’s Got Talent television show. This is part of the brand’s commitment to inspire Africans from all over the region.

In 2016, more than 5,300 young people from across the continent were auditioned. A total of 400 candidates were selected to take part in the next stage of the competition to perform live in front of a studio audience and celebrity jury from across the region, with an aim to reach a place in the semi-finals. Last year’s winner for the TV show, selected by the Jury was Freres Sylla from Guinee, who won 10 million CFA XOF, whiles Thibaut Adotanou from Benin was the winner of 3 million CFA XOF for the online voting by Nescafé fans.

For the second edition of the TV show, more than 200 candidates have been selected to join the competition and will be performing before three well-known jury, which will include singer-songwriters Angélique Kidjo, Fally Ipupa and TV personality and actress Claudia Tagbo from September 29th to December 1st and will be aired on six partner TV Channels. Information from the entire competition is available on the Nescafé website and Facebook pages for young people who want to follow the progress of the competition.

Read more about our commitment to young people in the Nestlé in society global report 2016 (English PDF).