Forward Africa

Are you ready to advance your career?

Forward is a free, five-month online learning program offered by McKinsey to equip young talent with must-have practical skills to succeed in the future of work.

What you can expect

Forward is a three-level learning journey where you can develop new ways of thinking, boost your confidence, and learn to lead with purpose. At the end of the program, receive a McKinsey Forward digital badge and join an exclusive global network of young, life-long learners.

Interactive learning journey

Learn through a variety of formats, including digital courses, discussion boards, virtual workshops with McKinsey experts, and a group assignment with real-time peer feedback.

  • complete the Foundation level: 8 weeks, two hours per week
  • complete the Advanced level and earn a shareable McKinsey Forward digital badge: 12 weeks, two hours per week
  • participate in the Network level: 18 months, ongoing optional activities

Skills you can use immediately

Gain the skills and tools to:

  • turn complex business challenges into opportunities using structured and creative thinking
  • communicate with impact to move your audience to action
  • apply agile ways of working and spot opportunities to use data and technology
  • be adaptable, and build resilience and emotional awareness to work successfully–both independently and in teams, especially in times of change

Eligibility criteria

To access Forward, you must meet the following criteria:

  • currently reside on the African continent (all countries)
  • currently employed, self-employed, or in between jobs
  • have no more than five years of formal work experience
  • have completed post-secondary education (for example: diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree)
  • have a good command of the English language, as the program will be conducted in English


participants from 70+ countries


recommendation rate


of alumni feel more confident in their skills


experienced career growth within two months of completing Forward

Mark your growth

Earn the McKinsey Forward badge

Participants who complete the Foundation and Advanced levels will earn a personalized digital badge, which is shareable across social media and other digital channels.

What Forward alumni are saying


Forward is at the forefront of the future of learning. The program has transformed the way I lead myself at work and in my personal life. I feel empowered to apply and practice all the skills I’ve learned.

Zoar, HR professional South Africa

Every single moment of the Forward journey was insightful and eye-opening and helped me sharpen core business and leadership skills.

Abdulswabur, communications specialist Ghana

The Forward program has been revolutionary. It was an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded professionals with different experiences from all over the world and build lifelong friendships.

Chelsea, research associate Nigeria

Meet Kalada

Kalada, a Forward alumnus from Nigeria, conquered the uncertainty he felt as a fresh graduate through the McKinsey Forward program. In less than a year, he made a big jump in his career trajectory. Kalada is now also an active member of the Forward alumni community, volunteering his time to pay it forward to new program learners.

Meet Portia

Portia is an inspiring young professional from South Africa. During her search for purpose and new career possibilities, she found Forward, which added structure to her transformation and gave her a toolbox of practical skills for any career path. A gifted speaker, Portia has volunteered her time to host several welcome webinars for new Forward learners.

Take a step Forward to advance your career

Applications open until June 20, 2023

Read more about the program

McKinsey Forward program reaches its first 100,000 learners

The Forward program, a free six-month online learning journey offered by McKinsey, has reached its first milestone of enrolling 100,000 learners from more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan in 18 months since its inception. The program aims to reach an additional 150,000 learners in 2023.

Other regions

Middle East & Pakistan

A virtual learning program that boosts the careers of young professionals in the Middle East & Pakistan.

Turkey & Azerbaijan

A virtual learning program that boosts the careers of young professionals in Turkey & Azerbaijan.

Get to know McKinsey in Africa

McKinsey also has offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nairobi, Kenya.