In 2009-2010, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator was designed to be a solution that could tackle youth unemployment through partnerships and at scale. Incubated in 2011 by Yellowwoods, Harambee established its proof of concept with a group of 5 founding employers and 40 young people.

Harambee is an independent, not-for-profit social enterprise that works with individual businesses, government agencies, local and international donors, industry sector associations, youth-serving organisations, assessment specialists, behaviour change experts and technology providers. Through research and delivery, we contribute knowledge and insights nationally and globally about what is working to solve youth unemployment.




Youth unemployment rate is double that of the adult unemployment (24% vs 48%)


million people in SA


of South Africans are under 35


broad unemployment in SA


Unemployment % by education level










1.1 Million youth enter the labour market each year through education and migration


enter formal employment


enter informal employment


become discouraged workers


become unemployed work-seekers


study further

If a young South African can get and keep a first job for 12 months or more, they have a much greater chance of staying employed for the rest of their lives.


  • United States Agency for International Development
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • The DG Murray Trust
  • The Gauteng Provincial Goverment
  • FirstRand Foundation
  • YW
  • Mastercard Foundation
  • Hollard
  • BPeSA - Business Process enabling South Africa
  • The Jobs Fund
  • Coca Cola South Africa
  • Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
  • Barloworld
  • The Claude Leon Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co
  • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • Tshikululu Social Investments
  • The Elma Philanthropies
Nicola Galombik

Nicola Galombik

Founder and Board Chair

Nicola is a founder of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and is currently its Board Chair. She is also the Executive Director at Yellowwoods, an investment holding company with several businesses in the financial services sector and restaurant and leisure sectors. Nicola sits on the global Yellowwoods board and is responsible for inclusive and sustainable growth and positive social value creation across the Yellowwoods business and investment portfolio. She also leads Yellowwoods’ impact investment and social enterprise portfolio focusing on inclusive economy, youth employment and education, financial inclusion and on change leadership in business and society.

Prior to joining Yellowwoods, Nicola established and was Managing Director of Converse Consulting, a management consulting business focused on large-scale organizational change and leadership development in the public sector, parastatals and private sector businesses. Previously, Nicola held senior executive positions in television broadcasting, policy and regulation and in education, and was a documentary filmmaker. Nicola was a Fulbright scholar and holds an MA from New York University. She is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a board member of the African Leadership Network and of several private sector businesses.

Maryana Iskander

Maryana Iskander

Chief Executive Officer

Maryana Iskander is Chief Executive Officer of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and brings a track record of scaling organisations through partnership models, data-driven delivery, talent management and technology innovation. Previously, she served as Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a US$1 billion organisation that is America’s largest provider of women’s reproductive healthcare and she currently sits on the board of directors.

She has been an associate at global business consultancy McKinsey Co., a strategy consultant for W.L. Gore & Associates, and a law clerk at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, and Vinson & Elkins in Houston. Maryana also served as Adviser to the President of Rice University and as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She earned a B.A. magna cum laude from Rice University, an M.Sc. from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She is a Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Kasthuri Soni

Kasthuri Soni

Chief Financial Officer

Kasthuri Soni is Chief Financial Officer of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Kasthuri spent 10 years as a chartered accountant at Deloitte, where she focused on audit and advisory services to social investment and development projects. She then became CEO of The Soul City Institute, one of South Africa’s largest health and development NGOs, focused on health promotion and social change communication.

Kasthuri also serves as a director of the Open Society Institute, the Competition Commission, Yellowwoods Trust Investments (Pty) Ltd as well as is a member of the South African Global Fund Country Co-ordinating Mechanism & Oversight Committee. She obtained her degree in Accounting (Honours) from the University of South Africa.

Evan Jones

Evan Jones

Chief Information Officer

Evan Jones is Chief Information Officer at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Evan joined Harambee from Webhelp, a French/UK-based global BPO operator, where he served as COO to rapidly scale Webhelp’s South African operations to nearly 2000 staff in sites across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Previously, Evan worked with Discovery Health to transition and operate their North American operation, Destiny Health. At TalkTalk (Carphone Warehouse), Evan was responsible for the company’s offshore (UK & South Africa) contact centre outsourced relationships, managing 5 outsourced partnerships covering 3500 staff undertaking various BPO functions.

Evan has also served as the Director of Operations for Merchants South Africa, managing the country’s largest outsourced operations across various verticals and geographies. Evan has personally been responsible for many of South Africa's early adopters of offshore BPO solutions and has been known to design, transition and operate most of the country’s premier BPO operations.

Lebo Nke

Lebo Nke

Partnerships & Advocacy

Lebo Nke leads partnerships and advocacy efforts at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator where she engages with Harambee’s partners across the private, public and social sectors. Lebo brings 18 years of experience in organisational change management, having worked at Accenture and De Beers Group before serving as the Managing Director of Converse Consulting and Management Services, which was acquired by Ernst & Young.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Economic History from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a Masters degree in Consulting and Coaching for Change from INSEAD – France, Fontainebleau Campus.

Siven Maslamoney

Siven Maslamoney

Innovation & Design Lead

Siven Maslamoney is an innovation and design lead at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and has been part of Harambee’s founding team since 2010. Siven was Associate Director at Ernst & Young's Business Advisory Services and a co-founder of Converse Consulting and Management Services, where he designed numerous change interventions and leadership simulations.

He is the former Head of Programmes on SABC1, South Africa's largest television channel where he commissioned projects that have pioneered popular public service broadcasting. He serves on the boards of the Soul City Institute and the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE). Siven earned a BSc in Zoology from the University of Natal.

Bernard Ngosi

Bernard Ngosi

Public-Private Partnerships

Bernard Ngosi manages public-private partnerships at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator where he leads significant initiatives supporting Harambee’s work with government. Bernard brings nearly two decades of experience in strategic human capital and public sector stakeholder management. Amongst these are senior level support to National Treasury in the restructuring of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, stakeholder management support in the turnaround of the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry as well as deployment of a Human Resources Management framework for the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) that informs how municipalities approach human capital planning.

Bernard has also worked in the private sector as an Associate Director with Resolve Workplace Solutions and has been a partner at Manto management consultancy.

Tammy Chetty

Tammy Chetty

Client Services

Tammy Chetty oversees national client services and is also Western Cape Executive of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Tammy brings over two decades of private sector management and sales experience, most recently running the business banking division for Barclays (Absa). In this role, she led a team of over 2000 people to ensure growth targets were achieved on a R200 billion balance sheet.

Tammy has also completed an Executive Masters in change management at INSEAD (France), as well as an MBA at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and certifications at the National Institute of Design (India), Knox D’Arcy Management Consulting (UK) and Barclays’s (Absa) Accelerated Leadership Initiative in Dubai, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Mosuoe Sekonyela

Mosuoe Sekonyela

Candidate Experience

Mosuoe Sekonyela oversees the candidate experience at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. He is responsible for leading a high-volume, high-quality national operation across multiple sites that enables over 100 000 young South Africans every year to build their employability through Harambee as well as lead a team of registered professionals (from pyschologists to counselors) who support Harambee’s offerings.

Mosuoe also leads teams that test new matching solutions drawing on global best practice. He brings prior experience in business development, psychometric tools and organisational development. He holds an Honours Industrial Psychology degree from the University of Johannesburg.

Rob Urquhart

Rob Urquhart

Knowledge & Learning

Rob Urquhart leads knowledge and learning at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Rob joined Harambee from Ernst & Young where he served as Associate Director in Advisory Services in the People and Organisational Change division. He led consulting efforts in South Africa and beyond focused on talent management and thought leadership related to organisational change.

Prior to EY, Rob served as senior manager of the Resolve Group where he spent over a decade in the human capital consulting space. Rob has both a Masters in Industrial Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Witwatersrand.

Dianne Woodward

Dianne Woodward

Key Accounts

Dianne Woodward leads key account management at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and has been part of Harambee’s founding team since 2010. She brings over 30 years of human capital corporate and management consulting experience in organisational design and restructuring, industrial relations, training and development, talent management, change management, performance management, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, role profiling, job evaluation, payroll management and remuneration.

Dianne has worked in sectors that range from insurance, banking, business services, mining, property, film to telecommunicatons. She has successfully delivered very complex, large-scale projects in both the public sector and private sector which require stakeholder engagement and project management at multiple levels.

Helen Smith

Helen Smith

Key Accounts

Helen Smith leads key account management Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and has been part of Harambee’s founding team since 2010. Helen began her career in human resources working in both South Africa and the United Kingdom for international oil companies Amerada Hess and Exxon Mobil.

She joined Resolve Workplace Solutions from 2002-2010 leading large-scale teams and projects across all disciplines of human resources and change management. Helen has driven the establishment of the Harambee sourcing and assessment model, the creation of a key accounts function and the design of multiple pathways for young people to find employment opportunities. Helen has a management degree from the University of Witwatersrand.