Ericsson and WPDI to Promote Peace and Development to Youth Peacemakers and CLCs in South Africa

Ericsson and Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative renews their collaboration to promote peace and development in South Africa.

Ericsson and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) have renewed their collaboration by expanding their joint efforts to promote peace and development through education to Youth Peacemakers and Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in South Africa.

The collaboration aims at further supporting existing programs and the expansion of the Ericsson and WPDI partnership to cover new locations in order to strengthen WPDI’s capacity to mobilize Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to achieve its objectives.

WPDI provides peacebuilding training to youth affected by conflict and violence in order to foster safer and more-productive communities. The long-term goal is to empower young women and men in these regions as peace leaders, community builders and global citizens through certified education and training programs.

WPDI’s approach begins with training in mediation and conflict transformation before shifting focus to developing life skills and vocational skills in ICT and entrepreneurship. Many participants begin the program without ever seeing a computer and lack basic digital skills. As the technology partner to WPDI, Ericsson provides ICT equipment for the CLCs and delivers training programs focused on the development of digital skills for the youth, based on its Connect To Learn flagship education program.

As part of the collaboration, Ericsson and WDPI will also explore the opportunity of deploying the Ericsson Digital Lab, an education program for children aged 11-16 years, to inspire the children to explore new technologies and develop their problem-solving skills.

We work with young men and women to develop their skills as leaders, as peacebuilders, and as community builders. WPDI mobilizes ICT as a mean to foster peace and sustainable development in communities. Ericsson has been a strategic partner of WPDI since the inception of our programs. This new collaboration with Ericsson demonstrates the power of partnerships to bring young people together to bridge the digital divide, thereby driving change through the education of, and use of, ICT.

Caroline Descombris, Executive Director of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI)

Many communities have limited or no access to devices, connectivity or ICT training, and education, which widens the digital divide. Technology access can empower the youth of these communities to be leaders and change-makers, helping build more peaceful societies and contributing to social upliftment. Ericsson and WPDI are joining forces and working together to make a difference at grassroots level through the use of Information and Communications Technology. We aim to extend our work to more countries and Community Learning Centers in Africa to bridge the digital divide and keep #AfricaInMotion.

Fida Kibbi, Vice President and Head of Marketing, Communications and Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson Middle East and Africa

Access to information and knowledge is critical to help local people improve their socio-economic prospects and develop solutions for the sustainable development of their communities. By enhancing people’s access to ICT, and their ICT literacy levels and skills, this can foster safer and more productive communities. Beneficiaries’ job prospects, ability to generate incomes, and economic positions can be improved.

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