My World of Bags, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation announced the launch of Kafawa, a training initiative designed to bridge the skills gap in the leather and non-leather manufacturing industry. My World of Bags, the parent company of FemiHandbags, one of Africa’s leading luxury accessory brands, is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works upskill hundreds of Nigerian youths and connect them to work opportunities in the creative sector.
Kafawa, which means ‘establishment’ in Hausa, will kick-off its pilot edition in Oyo state and will launch a series of intensive courses in hard and soft skills. The goal is to empower and establish a highly skilled generation of youth to enhance the quality of workmanship in Nigeria – and Africa’s leather and non-leather industries.
In a statement by the Program Director and Founder of My World of Bags/FemiHandbags, Mrs. Femi Olayebi, she said, “There is a breadth of potential in the leather and non-leather manufacturing industries in Nigeria, and yet, there is a lack of skilled hands to bring that potential to life. This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is the perfect opportunity to achieve this, by not only equipping young Nigerians with the necessary skill sets to grow and expand the sector, but also to enhance their own economic outcomes. We are honoured to be driving this change, and we are committed to creating access for as many young people at the bottom-of-the-pyramid as possible. We truly believe that there is dignity in working your way to the top, no matter how low you start, and we hope to begin to change mindsets and create a chain reaction.”
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Chioma Nwagboso, Program Lead, MSME Finance at the Mastercard Foundation said, “The Mastercard Foundation is excited at the potential for Kafawa to create a new generation of young people with a changed mindset and newfound belief that production, tailoring, and manufacturing can provide dignified and fulfilling work opportunities.”
Over the past five years, My World of Bags has been an active advocate for skill-building, through its annual training program for leather designers, in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); and for expanding access and creating a platform for visibility, through its annual Lagos Leather Fair. This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation enables the company to further expand its reach, intensify and broaden the training curricula and offer placement opportunities within the leather and non-leather manufacturing industry.
The first cohort of trainees, selected based on their passion, availability, and readiness to strive for better, have officially been on-boarded into the Kafawa Training Program and are very eager to begin a journey that will involve intensive training over a period of 3-4 months. Application for the next cohort will be open in March 2022.