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#263Tech: Econet Launches ‘Elevate’ Youth Empowerment Programme

Converged multi-technology company and Zimbabwe’s leading mobile network service provider Econet Wireless has launched a youth empowerment programme designed to support and equip young people with different skill sets, among them entrepreneurship training and mentorship by highly qualified professionals.

The programme dubbed Elevate was unveiled in Harare on Saturday, and is open to all Econet customers between the ages of 16 and 34 years.

Speaking at the launch event, Econet Executive Lovemore Nyatsine said the programme was an initiative of the youth and by the youth as it was born out of intense interactions and feedback with young people across the country over the past year.

“Today is the culmination of input from a sample of about 5000 young people across the country over the past 12 months.

“We wanted to find out what it is the youth are looking for, what it is really they want”, said Nyatsine adding that the launch followed an exhaustive data analysis of the young people’s feedback which they used to come up with the programme.

The programme, according to Jonathan Neshena, a young product manager at Econet involved in its design, consists of four pillars of opportunity for youth engagement.

Neshena said there is the ‘Mix n Match’ pillar, which allows young people to take control of their communication needs by customizing their Voice, SMS and Data usage plans.

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Then there is the entertainment-based ‘Spin n Shuffle’ pillar, that creates a platform for aspiring young artists to bring out the musicians, dancers, vocalists, producers and comedians that are inside so many of them.

The ‘Rise n Shine’ pillar, Neshena said, is for young people that literaly mean business. It offers opportunities to develop and nurture young entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 to 34, and includes funding opportunities for those who sign up to the programme.

Probably the most important pillar, Rise n Shine helps create employment by equipping young people with vocational training skills and entrepreneurial skills that enable them to start their own businesses and create employment.

Neshena said the ‘Learn n Grow’ pillar would provide opportunities for youth career guidance and mentorship through boot camps and related interventions.

Mellany Msengezi-Mariri, General Manager for Marketing at Econet Wireless and a key part of the team that organized the event, said she was excited at the prospect of recognizing and rewarding young talent through Elevate, and called on young people to join the platform.

“There are 6.5 million young people in Zimbabwe between the ages of 15 and 34 years. Elevate is a great opportunity for them and we invite them to join Elevate by simply dialing *771#”

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In what will probably become a regular occurrence, part of the event’s highlights were inspirational talks of personal journeys from various business leaders to the young people, including an inspirational ‘Business 101’ address by Fayaz King, a telecom and ICT business expert and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s Chief Operating Officer.

Drawing his own inspiration from sport King passionately exhorted young people to dream big, set audacious goals, believe in themselves, work hard (execute) to achieve their dreams, and to honor and acknowledge God in all that they do.

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Shingie Lev Muringi is a Technology Analyst & Digital Media Strategist by profession. He is a qualified Cisco Certified Network Engineer & a BTech. E-Commerce alumni with the Harare Institute of Technology. Shingie is a very passionate technology enthusiast who is driven by a burning desire to be a leading strategist in this digital revolution era where every organization needs to impress the paradigm shift with urgency. He has previously worked for TN Holdings, Steward Bank, Econet Wireless - Ecocash and TechnoMag before joining 263Chat as a Journalist

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