Digital skills gap in Africa

According to a report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it revealed that some 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require some level of digital skills by 2030.

Forbes also predicts that 85% of the jobs that will be available in 2030 have yet to be invented, as the work of humans will continuously change due to the fact that most jobs will become obsolete due to the emergence of new ones.

With the technological advancements emerging in the world today and the speed at which the world is changing, there is a need for all young people around the world to have the relevant digital skills to be able to fill future jobs.

Registration for the Tekedia Mini-MBA (February 6 – May 6, 2023) has started. register here. The cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program if you register before November 11, 2022. Beat the early risers for free books, discounts and other bonuses.

In order to keep up with the rapidly changing world, most countries in Europe have started the process of empowering their citizens, especially young people with relevant digital skills.

Unfortunately, in all of this, the African continent lags behind the rest of the world in almost every digital-related skill. African countries benefit less from new technologies and innovations because only a very small percentage of the population has the relevant digital skills.

Digital transformation is sweeping across continents, but the African continent is yet to feel much of the impact. The continent faces a huge digital skills gap, which limits economic opportunities and stunts the continent’s growth.

Sub-Saharan Africa is said to have the lowest literacy rate in the world, as the continent faces a huge digital skills gap, which dilutes economic opportunities and hinders development. Current statistics show that 90% of children in Africa leave school without having acquired any basic digital skills, which limits much of what they can do in today’s world.

Africa is said to have the largest and youngest workforce in the world, but many companies on the continent have few Africans working for them due to the digital skills gap on the continent.

The lack of relevant skills in the digital age may limit opportunities for African countries to make the most of digital technologies, as they will continue to catch up with the rest of the world if the gap is not closed.

In Sudan and Zimbabwe, however, it is shocking that only 4% of adults in these countries are able to copy and paste files. This is why countries in Africa need to reorient primary, secondary and tertiary institutions towards STEM education, coupled with the inclusion of basic ICT skills.

Experts have continued to worry about the growing shortage of digital skills on the African continent, which has been caused by a massive brain drain. The few skilled people in Africa have emigrated en masse to other countries, resulting in a huge skills gap on the continent.

Emerging technologies will inevitably change the nature of jobs in the future, which is why young people on the African continent must thrive with digital skills to unlock many opportunities for themselves, and also develop the African continent with their innovative ideas. .

Considering that Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world, it is essential that adequate investments in education and digital skills are made to equip the new generation of young Africans entering the market. relevant future skills.

Although formal education is not easily accessible to all young people on the African continent, mainly due to lack of funding. However, quality online learning platforms like GetBundi, an Edtech platform that offers STEM skills, currently have a mission to equip young people in Africa with relevant future skills.

The platform makes on-site learning possible by providing STEM education regardless of where the individual is in Africa.

Therefore, it is imperative that governments on the African continent normalize unconventional learning pathways. In addition, another strategic way to bridge the digital skills gap in Africa is to create tech hubs where these young people can access world-class hardware and learn new skills.

These centers can then turn them into formal jobs, think tanks and accelerators where they can create innovative ideas and technologies that will contribute to the region’s digital economy.

At this time, having a degree is no longer enough, as relevant digital skills have become an important criterion for most available jobs.

The African government can take inspiration from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following the government’s collaboration with Dubai’s future foundation, the Smart City University, which is a blockchain-powered decentralized learning platform to support the development of digital skills in the country. .

Implementing this method will undoubtedly increase the percentage of digital skills talent among the youth in the African region. If a significant percentage of Africa’s population has the necessary digital skills, some of the problems plaguing the continent will be eradicated through the emergence of new technologies and innovations.

In addition, governments across Africa must invest in technologies that will drive digital transformation, also investing in people to enable them to be digitally skilled to use emerging technologies. Through digital transformation, citizens will be able to use technology to solve the continent’s problems.

Conclusion

To close the digital skills gap in Africa, governments and private actors need to focus on equipping the population with digital skills. It is undeniable that technology has become a key element of economic growth.

An amazing thing about digital skills is that with them, young people will not only have the opportunity to work in Africa, but also have the opportunity to work anywhere in the world and get paid in foreign currencies.

The huge population of young people in Africa is a blessing for Africa, hence the need to equip them with relevant digital skills that will open up so many opportunities for them and also transform the African economy.