Youth for Technology Foundation

YTF believes that access to technology and education should be a basic human right. Through the combination of education and technology, YTF Academy helps marginalized, low-income, underrepresented, and underemployed youth gain new and innovative skills, education, and training.
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Year launched: 
2000
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

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Program Description: 

YTF Academy is YTF’s flagship program begun in 2001 in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria as the first digital village in Sub-Saharan Africa. Soon after that, YTF began operations in other Nigerian states and in Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, and Colombia. Through the combination of education and technology, YTF Academy helps marginalized, low-income, underrepresented, and underemployed youth gain new and innovative skills, education, and training that lead to higher education, more advanced employment skills, new career paths, entrepreneurial business development, and increased workplace skills.

YTF uses a participatory approach for new sites and new programs, teaches and uses technology skills, promotes collaboration and creativity, provides STEM education, integrates the engineering design and scientific inquiry processes, and emphasizes human-centered problem solving and critical thinking for creating innovative answers to critical issues.
YTF Academy programs initially focused on youth but, in realizing comprehensive programming was needed to eliminate poverty, it expanded to five programs:

• TechKids (ages 8-12): develops awareness of technology applications in everyday life; demonstrates how real science works.

• TechTeens: ages 13-19 to pursue STEM fields; participants seek solutions to real-world problems in their communities.

• TechCommunities (ages 20-25): hands-on experiences and peer-to-peer learning empowers employee- or job creator-participants to be workplace or entrepreneurial business problem solvers and innovators.

• TechEnhancement: for individuals currently in the workforce but who need to develop or enhance their skills.

• 3DAfrica—prototyping, engineering, and maker spaces: begun in 2014, over 400 youth learned 3D printing, design thinking, and empathy-driven innovation.

As of 2015, YTF has graduated over 315,000 YTF Academy participants: 55% chose ICT fields, STEM careers increased by 75%, 90% were engaged in entrepreneurship. YTF has a high job placement rate with employment paying, on average, three times more in salaries. Employers say YTF graduates perform better than non-YTF employees; 40% are promoted within 3-6 months of graduation.

Highlighting Innovation: 
YTF uses a participatory approach to develop technology skills, promote collaboration and creativity, provides STEM education, integrate the engineering design and scientific inquiry processes, and emphasizes problem-solving and critical thinking.
Key Challenges: 
The number of youth is growing by leaps and bounds in Sub-Saharan Africa creating a “youth bulge” in which insufficient university slots and well-trained professors, jobs, and employment opportunities is serious for today’s youth.