"Africa remains the youngest continent in the world with a rapidly growing youth population that is expected to double by 2055, but we run the risk of not tapping into this demographic dividend because of underinvestment in our youth." – Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa

Kigali, Rwanda, October 10, 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (UNDP IICPSD), together with its partner, the HP Foundation, organized a successful Training of Trainers during YouthConnekt Africa’s (YCA) 2019 Summit. During the 4th Steering Committee of YCA, the HP Foundation was announced as a partner of YouthConnekt Africa. The HP Foundation is willing to support entrepreneurial skills development in the 12 countries implementing YCA’s initiative through its HP LIFE program, which provides online business and IT skills training.

UN data shows that Africa has the youngest population in the world. This young population offers great potential for raising dynamism, innovation and productivity across the continent. However, persistent economic, political and social challenges prevent Africa’s youth from finding employment and realizing their full potential. 

YCA aims to support youth leaders and youth entrepreneurship by providing innovative solutions, developing sustainable initiatives and engaging in advocacy, thereby contributing to the social, economic and political transformation of the continent. Each year, YCA hosts a Summit that brings young people from across the continent together and promotes youth empowerment. One key theme of YCA Summit 2019 was connecting skills development with emerging market opportunities so as to strengthen the youth ecosystem and support entrepreneurial activities in Africa.

Taking the opportunity to support the development of youth entrepreneurship, UNDP IICPSD and the HP Foundation organized a HP LIFE Training of Trainers. HP LIFE is a global online program that provides free entrepreneurship, business and IT skills to people all around the world. The program offers modular, interactive and self-paced courses in seven languages with background theory and practical exercises. Available courses include design thinking, strategic planning, social entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations, and communications for effective leadership, and business management. The program allows people to build the necessary skills for establishing and growing a business.

Supported by UNDP Rwanda, the Republic of Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and YCA Hub, and hosted by DigiCenter Kigali, the HP LIFE Training of Trainers aimed to illustrate how the HP LIFE platform can be used for entrepreneurial and business skills development. The training equipped the participants with the tools required to engage in institution-wide knowledge transfer and capacity-building in local organizations.

UNDP IICPSD and the HP Foundation initiated the work with YCA that currently spans across 12 countries with the aim of scaling-up entrepreneurial skills training initiatives to contribute youth entrepreneurship. 

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