“South Africa and the continent at large face a huge shortage of critical skills,” - Ben Pretorius

Standard Bank focuses on growing Africa’s education sector

Investing in, growing and developing the education sector on the African content is more crucial than ever. Given the growth of the African population coupled with socio-economic challenges, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to strengthen education systems to facilitate unimpeded participation of young people in the development of African countries.

The World Economic Forum estimates that 15 to 20 million young people will join the African workforce every year for the next two decades. By 2030, Africa will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s population under 25, who will make up 60% of the continent’s total population.

“South Africa and the continent at large face a huge shortage of critical skills,”

says Ben Pretorius, Head: Education Sector at Standard Bank.

“At the same time, the continent has the fastest growing youth population in the world that could close such gaps. There are however key challenges and obstacles to accessing decent, quality education that urgently need to be addressed if we want to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”

“If we want to fulfil this growth, we must look at how we can be a source of assistance and support for our youth. Irrespective of whether they work for Standard Bank. If we, as an organisation, want to thrive and grow into the future, and if our continent is to survive and take its place on the world stage, the growing youth population must be given access to educational opportunities.”

Standard Bank is focusing on adding value to key sectors, and the ecosystems that exist within them, that it believes hold the potential to support economic development and reduce inequality and poverty. One such sector is Education.

In July 2020, Standard Bank became the first bank on the continent to launch an in-house education department that supports seven core education and skills development areas including; Early childhood development, Community Education training, training in schools, TVETs, Higher education as well as SETAs as it looks to contribute to enabling access to inclusive, quality education and learning opportunities, and to help Africa harness the opportunities of the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions.

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