Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the not-for-profit social enterprise building African solutions for the global challenge of youth unemployment, has announced the appointment of group finance director Kasthuri Soni as its next CEO.

Soni will assume the role in January 2022 from current CEO Maryana Iskander, who is entering her tenth year at Harambee.

“Harambee’s reach has never been stronger, as we saw in celebrating our 10th anniversary this year with partners across government, the private sector and civil society. This CEO transition is a thoughtful and deliberate succession plan that positions Harambee for even greater impact in the future than it has had in the past,” says Harambee Board Chair Tandi Nzimande.

Soni was part of the team that incubated the organisation and one of Harambee’s very first employees at its founding in 2011. She is a seasoned executive with deep institutional knowledge of Harambee’s model, operations, and partnerships. Previously, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Soul City and has held several board leadership roles in the social sector.

Consistent with her commitment to increasing access and breaking down barriers, Iskander will become the global Chief Executive Officer of Wikimedia Foundation the non-profit that operates the world’s fifth most popular digital platform supporting Wikipedia and other free-knowledge projects.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has built a reputation for its breakthrough model to support unemployed work-seekers in coalition with the private sector, government, and civil society. It is known for its continuous pursuit of innovative solutions at scale and relentless focus on breaking the barriers that keep young women and men locked out of opportunity.