Hewlett Packard Commits To Training 100K Young African Tech Entrepreneurs By 2021

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Hewlett Packard has pledged to empower 100,000 students across Africa in the next three years through its HP foundation’s HP Life program.

The HP Life program will aim to train 100,000 young learners in Africa by 2021, giving them the skills to become successful tech entrepreneurs, according to a press release.

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Hewlett Packard’s pledge supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 and is in line with the company’s goals to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025 and to enrol a million HP Life users between 2016 and 2025, according to the HP 2017 Sustainable Impact Report.

The HP Life program, a learning initiative for tech entrepreneurs, offers 30 free online courses focused on business and IT skills, ranging from business planning and marketing to raising capital and design thinking, helping users to gain the skills to start and grow their own business or improve their employment opportunities.

The company began this initiative in Africa by launching a new tech-enabled HP Life center in South Africa at the end of November, according to VenturesAfrica.

Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard has pledged to empower 100,000 students across Africa as tech entrepreneurs. Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

The tech giant partnered with Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and its Centre of Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator to launch the HP Life center in the country, providing South African entrepreneurs with a technology-enabled hub to facilitate learning, collaboration, and entrepreneurship in a face-to-face setting.

At the moment, 40 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa are unemployed, with almost 35 percent lacking the basic skills they need to perform a job, according to the WorldBank.

Technology skills are of particular concern, especially considering the fact that, over the next 25 years, Africa’s working-age population will double to 1 billion, the United Nation’s World Population report reveals.

The initiative wishes to address that skills shortage and engage a new generation of African youth through skills development.

Hewlett Packard and their diversity reputation

In the U.S., the company has been lauded for its diverse workforce and efforts to drive progress for a diverse and inclusive culture.

Hewlett Packard set the standard for diversity in Silicon Valley with a full-force commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture, according to Diversity Journal.

The company was recognized in 2017 for having the most diverse board of directors of any tech company in the U.S. — almost 40 percent female and 23 percent underrepresented minorities, according to a February 2017 report:

Hewlett Packard’s Chief Marketing Officer at the time, Antonio Lucio, took an aggressive and public stance on diversity and inclusion, and was named Diversity Champion Winner at the PR Council’s Seventh Annual Diversity Distinction in PR Awards last year.

As a result of his reputation and what he had accomplished at Hewlett Packard, Facebook hired Lucio as their global chief marketing and communications officer in August this year, according to Adweek.