South African entrepreneur named JCI Outstanding Young Person

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South African Luvuyo Rani, co-founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, has been named a 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) recipient for his work in providing access to technology.

Rani won the award in the category of business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment for his work with Silulo Ulutho, which sells refurbished computers and provides IT training.

Rani began his career by opening an internet café that also offered computer training and IT support for local citizens, before launching Silulo Ulutho in partnership with his brother in Khayelitsha.

“His work addresses the IT skill gap faced in his community with a specific goal to reduce unemployment,” JCI said.

“In South Africa, the unemployment rate is 25 per cent, but the smaller townships like Rani’s have a 50 per cent unemployment rate, especially affecting the youth. Providing a solution to this challenge, Rani opened a school that provides computer training to the public open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The school has now been open for seven years with more than 20,000 students having completed the six-month training programme. Upon graduation, more than 50 per cent of Rani’s students have found employment, JCI said.

“Rani places a high value on his services rather than his profit and provides payment plans for his programmes, making them available to disadvantaged communities,” JCI said.

“His business and education programmes continue to empower people to learn new skills and use them for increased communication, connection and employment. Responding to this important social need, Rani has opened the door to the world of technology for people and communities across South Africa.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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