HP, the famous, United States-based multinational tech company, has this week announced a new commitment to reach 100,000 learners across Africa over the next three years through an initiative known as the HP Foundation’s HP LIFE program.
The firm made the announcement at an event dubbed the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, and kicked off the commitment by opening a new tech-enabled HP LIFE Center in South Africa.
HP’s pledge supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 and furthers the company’s goals to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025 and to enroll a million HP LIFE users between 2016 and 2025, as outlined in an analysis known as the HP 2017 Sustainable Impact Report.
By 2030, Africa will be home to 32% of the population under the age of 30, and the largest working age population by 2035. Yet, the HP Foundation notes that today’s youth unemployment in Africa is up to 3 times higher than adult unemployment.
HP LIFE offers free, online learning for users to gain the skills to start and grow their own business or improve their employment opportunities. Building on the success of this global program, HP is working with partners to open technology-enabled HP LIFE innovation centers to further support entrepreneurship and workforce development across the continent.
On November 30th, HP opened the HP LIFE Center in South Africa. The Center is a technology-enabled hub to facilitate learning, collaboration and entrepreneurship in a physical, face-to-face setting.
Built on the belief that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the global economy, HP LIFE offers 30 free, online courses focused on business and IT skills; from business planning and marketing, to raising capital and design thinking. To date, HP LIFE has reached 744,000 learners in 200 countries and territories.
“We believe that education is a human right, that technology in the classroom is a critical component for a 21st century education, and that in today’s economy our learning is never done,” said Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP.
“Africa is experiencing rapid urbanization and digitization, and it’s essential that people have access to learn skills for the work of tomorrow. This new HP LIFE Center provides a launchpad for innovation and opportunity across the continent,” he continued.
In 2017, on the global stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, HP announced a commitment to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. The commitment to education is a part of HP’s broader Sustainable Impact strategy – a strategy to use the scope, scale and expertise of HP to drive positive, lasting change for the planet, its people and the communities where we live, work and do business.
“Sustainable Impact is fundamental to our reinvention and core to achieving our vision to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” said Hurst.