The learning content will include technical courses relevant to 15 different industries — including courses in energy, beauty, fashion, DIY, digital marketing, hospitality, the creative arts, journalism, film, and technology

Free learning App for young Africans launched

The free mobile app, Trace Academia, will feature course content and features developed by Trace and a coalition of leading corporations and organizations such as Google, L’Oréal Foundation, AFD, UNESCO, Orange, Canal +, SACEM, Visa, Schneider Electric, Durex, Leroy Merlin, Bureau Veritas, Ford Foundation, Afreximbank, Accor-Kasada, The Minister of Finance of France, the African Union, the University of Johannesburg, Senghor University, Valued Citizens, TPG, Satya Capital, Trace, BDD Software, Bain&Co, Havas, and many others

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 21, 2022/ — Earlier today, Trace and the Mastercard Foundation launched Trace Academia ( , a free-to-use, interactive, mobile-based learning application that aims to enable 26 million young Africans to acquire on-demand, market-relevant skills. Trace Academia is available on Android and iOS and has already been successfully tested in 4 African countries.

Users can access courses in one of two languages: English and French. Portuguese courses will soon be launched.

The learning content will include technical courses relevant to 15 different industries — including courses in energy, beauty, fashion, DIY, digital marketing, hospitality, the creative arts, journalism, film, and technology — as well courses that are more broadly relevant, such as entrepreneurship, public speaking, and personal wellness. Each course featured on the application has been designed in collaboration with an industry leading organization to ensure its relevance to employers and the job market.

“Our courses and certificates are created in partnership with influential players across the industry, governments, and non-profit sector. This free, easy-to-use app aims to train 26 million African youth by 2026 with the skills they need to find or create work and the opportunities to kickstart their careers. I strongly believe that their current circumstances should never be a hindrance to their success,” said Olivier Laouchez, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Trace.

“Two things are particularly exciting about Trace Academia. One, is that the platform offers young people total flexibility and control over their learning. Users can learn at their own pace, in their own time, and customize their journey to the emergent demands they face as they navigate the world of work. Second, the courses are deeply practical and designed in collaboration with market-leading organizations to ensure they are industry relevant.

“The Mastercard Foundation is pleased to support this platform as part of our Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young people to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030,” said Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer at the Mastercard Foundation.

The new platform represents an important contribution to the youth employment agenda in Africa. As the youngest continent in the world, with nearly 65 percent of its population under the age of 25, Africa is home to the workforce of the future, and with the right skills and opportunities, young people will be the continent’s greatest drivers of transformation.

Report distributed by APO Group on behalf of Trace Academia.


About Trace:
Launched in 2003 following the acquisition of the eponym print magazine, Trace is a global multimedia platform dedicated to Hip Hop and Afro-centric cultures and to the empowerment of young people, women, and creators. Trace engages with over 350 million fans across 180 countries including 290 million fans in Africa.

Trace Academia is available for free download on iOS ( and Android ( Trace:

About the Mastercard Foundation:
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

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