HP Commits to Educate 100,000 Across Africa

HP Commits to Educate 100,000 Across Africa in the Next Three Years, Opens HP LIFE Center for Entrepreneurship in South Africa

Palo Alto, California and Johannesburg, S.A – December 2, 2018 – Today at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, HP (NYSE: HPQ) announced a new commitment to reach 100,000 learners across Africa over the next three years through the HP Foundation’s HP LIFE program, 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 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, today’s youth unemployment in Africa is up to 3x 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.

“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.”  

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.


In collaboration with institutions such as the Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and its Centre of Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator, HP opened the HP LIFE Center in South Africa on November 30, 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. All users need is a computer and Internet connection to access HP LIFE, and the new, physical center in South Africa will create a more formal educational environment. HP LIFE has an enrollment goal of 1 million users between 2016 and 2025.

At the World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting in January, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) and HP Foundation announced a new 3D printing course to be delivered through the HP LIFE platform. 3D printing will fundamentally change the manufacturing industry. $4 to 6 trillion (USD) of the global economy will be disrupted in the next five to 10 years, shifting economic value and jobs across the globe. This new course is helping individuals to learn how to use 3D printing and create entrepreneurial opportunities.

HP and Global Citizen in South Africa

HP has been a proud partner of the Global Citizen movement since 2013, including supporting the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, a first for South Africa. Ahead of the December 2 festival in Johannesburg, HP ran several awareness and engagement building activities to highlight the partnership and HP’s commitment to Sustainable Impact, and to engage customers, employees and the public in acting on pressing global issues.

Why there’s a need for more change in SA communities

South Africa is a country that we all love, but inequality is undeniable, and by the World Bank’s estimate of 2018 South Africa is the most unequal country in the world.

Within a 2km radius of one another for example, you can find two communities whose average annual income varies from R14 600 to R225 000. Between those same two communities, 82.2% of the one’s population have access to internet while only 28.4% of the other community can access information through the web. SA is also a country where only 10% of the population have a qualification higher that matric and where only 38.9% of the population is employed.

This might just look like a bunch of stats, but every stat is a story. What this says about South African communities is that there are different needs in different communities across the country – no matter how close they are to one another geographically. Local leaders have a powerful role to play in identifying the voids and obstacles in their communities and finding ways to address them.

One young woman who is taking the fate of her community into her own hands is 26-year  old Vhahangwele

Charity Munyai from Folovhodwe Village in Limpopo. Vhahangwele, a trained biokineticist, runs a non-profit organisation that provides study material, pays school fees and distributes sanitary pads and shoes to young girls.

She founded the NPO Mbeu Community Development Project in 2015 because she wanted to ensure that

her community was not forgotten. “Taking into consideration that we are situated deep in the Niani area, we decided to come up with something that will empower our youth academically,” Vhahangwele told the Limpopo Mirror earlier this year. “Young people are our future leaders and as such, they need support to be able to realise their educational potential.”

With the heart to equip and empower the youth of their community, Vhahangwele and her team has hosted several successful career exhibitions, fun walks and supplied students with study guides. They also delivered more than 1000 sanitary towels to girls in the Niani area because many girls miss school when they menstruate if they don’t have the proper menstrual products.

Vhahangwele has personally raised enough money to fund the university application fees of ten students. But this year, as one of News24’s 100 Young Madibas and one of HP’s changemakers, she will receive R50 000 worth of products and cash from HP to help her achieve more of her goals.

HP believes that education is key in improving the lives of people in local communities. Through working with partners like the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change, Black Girls Code and Women Deliver, HP is committed to bridging the gender digital divide through technology-enabled learning opportunities for women and girls. HP believes that addressing these disparities has the potential to help unleash tremendous potential and growth.

While we have your attention…

Our world is facing increasingly difficult challenges including inequality, climate change, inadequate access to quality education and healthcare, among others. To overcome these challenges, we must raise the bar, challenge ourselves, and reinvent the industry standards for sustainable impact including driving lasting improvements to the planet, people and communities where we live, work and do business.

As part of their partnership with Global Citizen, HP has launched a campaign to amplify awareness of creating a sustainable impact. Please join the movement in reinventing mind-sets of citizens of the world and be the generation that pushes for a sustainable change.

Take a pledge to support this initiative here and challenge your friends on social media to be the generation of Global Citizens.