According to Nestlé’s CEO, Paul Bulcke, this initiative aimed to provide the apprentices with skills to obtain employment.
Bulcke made the announcement at the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Forum (CSV) 2016 held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 21 June 2016. The forum’s theme was “Investing in sustainable development in Africa”. Attending the event were business, civil society and government leaders from in and outside of Africa.
“Under our Nestlé Global Youth Initiative, we will create more than 3 000 apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities in Africa by the end of 2018. We will provide readiness-for-work training for more than 300 000 young people over the same period,” said Bulcke.
Nestlé explained that this support for Africa’s youth would include career advice, Curriculum Vitae (CV) workshops, and guidance for work interviews. This would take place at Nestlé sites, career fairs, and in schools and colleges, across the continent.
The importance of developing African agriculture and food security was a key focus of the CSV Forum. A keynote speaker was Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and founding Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF).
The KAF’s mission is to mobilise political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights around the world.
Annan told forum delegates that despite Africa having “unrivalled agricultural potential”, the continent was still spending US$35 billion (R543 billion) annually on importing food.
He urged Africa’s political and business leaders to invest in harnessing the “talent and creativity” of the continent’s youth and women.
“One option for unlocking the potential is by treating African agriculture as a business and enabling the private sector to intervene and invest along with governments. We must also ensure that agriculture and food systems are nutrition-smart because it’s not just about the amount of food we grow, it’s also about the type of food that we consume,” Annan said.