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Giraffe: Job Matching for Youth Employment in South Africa

Giraffe Data Science+AI South Africa
Oct 26 , 2021
A young lady using her desktop and writing down notes in a notebook
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Data Science+AI


South Africa
Amount invested $99,950 USD Funding Status graduated early period Founded in 2015 by Anish Shivdasani & Shafin Anwarsha


The UNICEF Innovation Fund is proud to see portfolio member Giraffe graduate. They’ve come a long way – from numerous product iterations to deep diving into understanding their ecosystem better and strengthening their business model. During the investment, Giraffe was acquired by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator- South Africa’s primary player in the youth employment ecosystem.

Giraffe is an automated job matching platform that helps entry-mid level work seekers find jobs and enables employers to find the best staff faster and more affordably than any other way.

One of the key challenges the Giraffe team identified was that many young people lack the skills and knowledge to identify a relevant career path and take the necessary steps to find work.

Giraffe launched free courses to make jobseekers more employable

 With UNICEF’s support, Giraffe developed a series of free educational courses designed to make young people more employable. These courses focused on key areas such as choosing a suitable career, understanding what qualifications are needed for the careers that are in high demand, finding a job, preparing for interviews and how to behave in the workplace to increase the chance of career progression.

 In addition, Giraffe developed a learning management system that is optimised for mobile devices and partnered with the biggest cellphone networks in South Africa to zero-rate the data on the course platform- making it completely free for jobseekers to take the courses.

Within a month of launching the free courses, around 100,000  job seekers had started at least one course and 84,000  had completed courses. 10% of these jobseekers went on to find a job.

Young lady using her laptop

Giraffe created a matching ontology to match jobseekers with opportunities


UNICEF’s support also enabled the Giraffe team to create a matching system to identify the best candidates for specific job opportunities. By designing an ontology of the main industries, roles and skills, the Giraffe team created a framework to match candidates to jobs based on their profiles and recommend them for specific opportunities.


This resulted in a 50% increase in candidates passing the selection process and more candidates getting jobs.


Giraffe was acquired by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator


Thanks to the free courses and advanced matching system, Giraffe gained significant traction with both jobseekers and employers. This prompted discussions with a range of interested parties. Following several engagements, Giraffe was acquired by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator- South Africa’s primary player in the youth employment ecosystem. This is especially relevant because Harambee is a key player in the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative- the largest coordinated effort to combat youth unemployment in South Africa.


Giraffe’s tech developed with UNICEF is open source and free to use


All the technology and content developed under the UNICEF grant is open source and free to use by anyone. Links to these can be found below:


·   Jobseeker educational content 

·   Jobseeker course content can be viewed here

·   Mobile learning management system

·   Matching algorithm ontology tool 


UNICEF innovation fund’s support to Giraffe has been invaluable- providing the financial resources to create jobseeker content that might not have been created as there was no direct commercial incentive to do so.


Furthermore UNICEF’s open source policy will enable Giraffe’s course content, learning management tool and matching algorithm technology to be used by anyone in the world who wishes to do so, thereby maximising the impact on young people everywhere

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