Trace and the Mastercard Foundation have 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 four 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 organisation to ensure its relevance to employers and the job market.

“Two things are particularly exciting about Trace Academia,” says Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and executive chairman of Trace. “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,” says Peter Materu, chief program officer at the Mastercard Foundation.