The Standard Bank "Empowering Youth Voices" Masterclass Event

Standard Chartered Master Class

In April, One Young World Southern Africa in partnership with Standard Bank hosted a Masterclass Event themed on “Empowering Young Voices”! This gathering brought together One Young World Ambassadors and Standard Bank graduates to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the region. The event focused on three critical topics: Youth Unemployment (SDG 8), Mental Health (SDG 3) and the 2024 Elections across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Mozambique (SDG 16).

The primary objective of this Masterclass was to empower participants with the knowledge and strategies needed to address youth unemployment, tools to effectively cope with the mental health crises and understand the significance of the 2024 elections in driving socio-economic change in the region.

The Standard Bank “Empowering Youth Voices” Masterclass Event



Event Highlights

Breakout Sessions: Interactive breakout sessions allowed attendees to delve deeper into specific aspects of youth unemployment, mental health and the election process. These sessions, facilitated by subject matter experts, fostered collaborative learning and idea generation.

Networking Opportunities: Participants had the chance to network with industry professionals, Standard Bank executives, and fellow attendees, both in person and online. These interactions were crucial for building connections and fostering future collaborations.

Our hosts for the day were Ambassadors; Elishua Ngoma and Lungile Tlomatsana. The event featured several esteemed speakers, who spoke to the topics: 

Intergenerational Masterclass



Solving for Youth Unemployment

Discussions on youth unemployment highlighted several key points:

  • Educational Gaps: The current curriculums in many African countries are outdated and do not meet the requirements of the modern job market. The need for education reform and the introduction of new, relevant courses was emphasized.
  • Industry-Specific Skills: There is a significant gap between the skills taught in schools and those required in industries such as textiles and renewable energy. Participants stressed the importance of developing African solutions to African problems rather than relying on external policies.
  • Entrepreneurship: The potential for entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment was discussed. The need for better networks and skills training was highlighted as crucial for supporting young entrepreneurs.
  • Climate Jobs: The link between renewable energy sectors and job creation was explored. Participants discussed the capital-intensive nature of these sectors and the importance of leveraging private sector support.

2024 Elections

The masterclass on the 2024 elections emphasized the importance of youth participation in the democratic process. Key points included:

  • Active Participation: Voting is just one aspect of electoral responsibility. Continuous engagement with political processes and representatives is crucial.
  • Beyond Voting: Youth were encouraged to remain politically active beyond just voting. Engaging with representatives and holding them accountable was seen as vital for driving change.

Mental Health 

Radhi Vandayar led a masterclass on mental health, focusing on the importance of human connection and community support. Key takeaways included:

  • Stigma and Awareness: The need to address the stigma surrounding mental health and promote awareness about its importance was highlighted.
  • Practical Strategies: Participants were encouraged to support each other, engage in open conversations about mental health, and seek professional help when necessary.
  • Community Support: Emphasis was placed on the role of community and familial support in overcoming mental health challenges.





This Masterclass was a step forward in empowering and celebrating young leaders who are bravely tackling critical issues to drive socio-economic change and active participation in their communities. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of their efforts in the years to come. A big thank you to the Ambassadors at Standard Bank  and their project team who was our corporate sponsor and made this event a success; Alistair Kennedy, Elishua Ngoma, Lungile (Zeldah) Tlomatsana, Reginald Nyarko, Minenhle Majola and Claudine Roberts, including our One Young World Southern Africa family Entle Mmipi and Vandana Satgoor.


Keynote Speech

Ella Robertson McKay delivered a powerful keynote speech, sharing her personal experiences and insights on leadership and youth empowerment. She emphasized the importance of optimism, resilience, and community in driving positive change. Here are some key takeaways from her address:

  • The Road Less Traveled: Ella highlighted the benefits of pursuing non-traditional career paths and the value of entrepreneurial thinking. She encouraged young people to seek growth opportunities and not be afraid to take risks.
  • Optimism and Resilience: The importance of maintaining a positive outlook and being resilient in the face of challenges was a central theme. Ella shared that optimism is a key trait for leaders and can drive significant change.
  • Human Connection: Ella stressed the importance of human connections and community support in overcoming challenges, particularly in the context of mental health. She argued that genuine human interactions are far more effective than digital solutions in addressing mental health issues.
  • Active Engagement: She encouraged continuous political engagement beyond just voting, emphasizing the need to hold representatives accountable and make voices heard on important issues.
  • Leadership Values: Drawing from global insights, Ella highlighted key leadership values such as humility, transparency, resilience, and a commitment to future generations. She emphasized that these values are crucial for effective and ethical leadership.


The Masterclass achieved several significant outcomes:

  • Enhanced Understanding: Participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the root causes and potential solutions to youth unemployment and the importance of active participation in the 2024 elections.
  • Actionable Insights: Attendees acquired practical strategies and tools to address youth unemployment challenges and engage meaningfully in the electoral process.
  • Networking and Collaboration: The event facilitated meaningful connections between One Young World Ambassadors, Standard Bank graduates, and industry experts, fostering collaboration and future partnerships.