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In rural areas around the world we struggle with higher levels of unemployment. Here in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province there is a ceiling on the number of jobs that the wildlife economy can create and in many areas, youth unemployment is as high as 65%.

But what if we could create mini cities of the future in rural areas, boosting job opportunities and developing the digital marketplace?

Even better, what if profits generated in rural enterprises were invested into education, creating digitally-enabled learning for children that focused on cultivating curiosity and developing creativity and critical thinking?

Before you read on, have a look at this video shot in Shabalala village, on the outskirts of a town called Hazyview in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province:

An ecosystem of learning and working in a future African city is exactly what the team at Good Work Foundation (GWF) had in mind when we teamed up with Londolozi Private Game Reserve and T-Systems in 2012 to create the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus (HDLC).

Hazyview is a peri-urban town located over 400 kms east of Johannesburg. The HDLC equips South Africa’s young adults with the skills needed to enter the area’s world-renowned wildlife economy.

That’s great! But what the campus also does in line with the fact that South Africa is the most developed digital marketplace on the continent, is train young adults to enter the ICT industry.

As a result, in 2016 we were able to create an IT Service Desk and Call Centre on campus that we have positioned as a rural near-shoring solution. Over the last two years this enterprise has delivered double-digit cost savings to some of SA’s biggest corporations and our staff continues to outperform service level agreements.

This week we’re thrilled to announce that the HDLC, the Youth Employment Service (YES) and Investec have teamed up to continue to grow our near-shoring solution. The partnership recruits HDLC’s ICT Academy alumni into a youth-facing Call Centre on the Hazyview campus, where YES youth queries can be efficiently handled via telephony, email and LiveChat communication channels.

All profits generated in this enterprise are used to power GWF’s digital learning programmes, including the ICT Academy and an innovative Open Learning Academy that reaches over 6,500 children per week!

So when we talk about the “African city of the future” we’re not kidding.

Imagine a gateway city into tourism and ICT that supported skills development, enterprise development, job creation, rural development and, as a happy byproduct, digital on-boarding for local primary schools and access to world-class education for school-learners in rural communities.

It’s happening in Hazyview.

#RuralNearshore #Digitization #YouthEmployment #GWF #YES

More information about Hazyview Digital Learning Campus

Londolozi Private Game Reserve is the founding partner of Good Work Foundation (GWF), a non-profit organisation that delivers access to world-class education to rural South African communities. GWF’s Hazyview cluster of digital learning campuses is made up of five campuses, including the award-winning Hazyview Digital Learning Campus (HDLC) where Londolozi has been a headline sponsor since 2012. In 2019 GWF’s inclusive economic model of learning and working will see 360 young adults enrolled in adult learning. In addition over 6,500 scholars per week from 22 schools will access EdTech-enabled learning focusing on English, math’s, digital, conservation and life-skills learning.

More information about the Youth Employment Service (YES)

YES is a business-driven initiative which is breaking new ground by pioneering a partnership with government and labour, in collectively tackling a national plan to build economic pathways for black youth. YES focuses on previously disadvantaged youth between the ages 18 and 35 by providing work experience for one year, giving young people a chance to demonstrate their abilities, establish their work ethic and prove their worth. The end result of the work experience is a CV, a reference letter, credibility and an empowered young person who has access to a digital platform to gain future work.

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