UNDP’s global Digital X Programme was initiated to find the most proven and innovative digital solutions across 5 thematic areas: Climate, Crisis, Gender, Health, and Inclusive Growth. From over 4000 global applications, only 80 digital innovations were chosen to be featured in UNDP’s online catalogue – the Digital Youth Marketplace “Yoma” being one of them. The catalogue is a strategic tool to match featured innovations with UNDP projects, diverse UN partners, and governments, providing mentoring and financial support.
There is no way to overlook Yoma’s potential and the value for youth worldwide – and so UNDP selected the project as a winner. Being one of UNDP’s awarded solutions is especially a success story for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission (as commissioning parties of Yoma) and GIZ and UNICEF (co-leading the implementation).
Built on the principles of open source, the digital platform Yoma offers young people (16-24 years of age) a variety of free on- and offline pathways promoting cross-sectoral skills development, community engagement and employment. Successfully completed opportunities are recorded on a digital, Blockchain-based CV, which offers an alternative trust profile for youth and employers. Yoma is a great example of a youth-led initiative. Youth have been, and continue to be, involved with Yoma, particularly in Nigeria, Burundi, South Africa, Benin, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago. Since the platform was launched in July 2020 in South Africa, more than 400,000 young people have participated in Yoma related opportunities. In addition, more than 8.1 Mio. of Yoma’s digital tokens called Zltos, worth more than 190K USD, were awarded to youth for successful completion of opportunities and redeemed on the Yoma Marketplace for goods, such as data.
Sustained by an internationally renowned ecosystem, Yoma has been steadily growing. The recent award from UNDP holds the potential to drive Yoma’s impact even further as Wesley Furrow, Yoma’s Partnership and Ecosystem Lead from Generation Unlimited, concludes:
We are very excited for Yoma to be included within the Digital X solution catalogue. Innovations within UNDP’s Digital X solution catalogue have supported over 450+M people, and for Yoma to be selected through a rigorous process for inclusion is indicative of its success to date, the need for such a solution, and its potential for scale in the future.
Wesley Furrow, UNICEF/GenU