Tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) has pledged to empower 100,000 learners across Africa in the next three years through its HP foundation’s HP LIFE (learning initiative for entrepreneurs) programme. The tech company kicked off this new commitment by opening a new tech-enabled HP LIFE Centre in South Africa.
HP alongside Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and its Centre of Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator opened the HP LIFE center in South Africa, a technology-enabled hub to facilitate learning, collaboration, and entrepreneurship in a physical, face-to-face setting.
This LIFE center was built on the backdrop of entrepreneurs being the backbone of the global economy and movers of Africa in the nearest future. HP LIFE offers 30 free online courses focused on business and IT skills, ranging from business planning and marketing to raising capital and design thinking.
This thread is another step towards reducing youth unemployment in the continent. Statistics show by 2030, Africa will be home to 32% of the population under the age of 30, and likewise also be home to the largest working-age population by 2035. However, the employment rate in the region is appalling as 12 out of 20 countries with the worst unemployment rate are African nations.
HP LIFE would offer free online learning for users to gain the skills to start and grow their own business. HP is working with partners at the same time to open technology-enabled HP LIFE innovation centers to support entrepreneurship and workforce development across the continent further.
Earlier in the year at the World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) and HP Foundation announced a new 3D printing course to be delivered through the HP LIFE platform.
3D printing is fundamentally changing the manufacturing industry. Almost $6 trillion of the global economy will be disrupted in the next five to 10 years, and this would shift economic value and jobs across the globe. This new course will help Africans to learn how to use 3D printing and create entrepreneurial opportunities.
“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 Centre provides a Launchpad for innovation and opportunity across the continent.”