Utiva; From Kibera with Tech
Kibera, the third largest slum in the world, sprawls over lands, railway tracks, and waterways.
Kibera is not just one of Africa’s biggest slums, Kibera is Africa’s biggest slum.
But as we would soon see, this could only be an arm of a larger problem, a problem of hope and the stark lack of it.
With close to 1 million inhabitants, only a quarter of kids in Kibera attend formal schools, aggravating an already bad situation.
The daily realities of this extremely impoverished Neighbourhood are real and tear-jerking and they represent the position of millions of people scattered around the continent.
Low and middle income countries face an existential crisis. With rising poverty comes the lack of access to tools for combating poverty.
Some thousands of Kilometres from Kibera, at Utiva’s Lagos office, representatives from Hewlett-Packard, the computer giants and a team from Utiva have been locked in a 1 hour remote meeting and the subject of this meeting would prove influential in the lives of 100 teenage girls in Kibera.
This story dates back to 2017 when HP announced at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany that by 2025 it would enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people. HP’s commitment to education is part of its broader Sustainable Impact strategy, which aims to take advantage of the scope, scale, and expertise of the company to positively affect the planet, its people, and the communities where we live, work, and do business.
As the world moves to a digital economy, poor countries face an obstacle: the lack of qualified manpower to fill critical information and communication technology (ICT) positions, a problem that is exacerbated by the low representation of women in these fields, a problem that Utiva understands very well.
Having helped facilitate the movement of over 20,000 people from over 10 countries both within and outside the continent into tech, Utiva is quite hopeful that through their work, they can position Africa as a global talent hub, creating enough manpower to keep the industrial, social and cultural wheels of the continent spinning and have enough more to export.
Across the continent, there’s a new wave of hope, an increased consciousness for women and girls, Girls are in fact rising and this organization, Girl Rising, is the fulcrum, ensuring that girls everywhere can gain access to quality education and help, so far, they have reached 10 million adolescent girls and garnered 30,000 educators.
In collaboration, HP, Girl Rising and Utica are not only beaming quality and market-relevant tech training into the slums of Kibera but along with it, hope; hope for the future, hope for better jobs and a chance to influence and possibly transform their community.
As labor shortages persist in low- and middle-income countries, the tech sector undermines one of the key drivers of economic growth. The role of women in tech is underrepresented, particularly in high-paying roles.
Through this project we are building local talent and creating more opportunities for them to flourish in the digital economy through better access to quality learning, job and internship linkages.
This year, Utiva has committed to investing in impact, through partnerships and direct intervention, taking quality digital learning into all the crevices and corners, to cement this we went on to launch our impact arm www.impact.utiva.io to highlight our impact efforts and provide an avenue for people who want to be part of this great movement to be able to play their part.
We believe that in future, when you google Kibera, you won’t find millions of answers pointing you to a slim but instead you’d be directed to a thriving ecosystem for tech talents, Utiva wants to replicate this across the continent but for now, we look forward to when we can finally say “From Kibera with Tech”