The year 2020 arrived with so much fanfare, with lots of hopes and expectations placed upon it by individuals, organizations, and even governments across the globe.
Fascinating economic prognoses were given, leading many to view the year as a potentially productive one.
What we did not see coming was a global public health crisis that would go on to disrupted the usual way of things.
The devastating impact of COVID-19 is most glaring in the global economy such that many countries globally are intentionally gearing up for a long drawn out economic recession.
Across Africa, the impact of the pandemic has significantly set back economic and social development. This has occasioned the need of individuals and businesses to discard and learn new changes in lifestyle habits as well as tweak their work processes to fit into the new normal.
For Africa to regain its economic balance, there’s a need for the continent to fully adopt digitization. In fact, a report has it that 230 million jobs across the continent will require some level of digital skills by 2030.
To achieve economic growth in Africa, as well as prepare for future eventualities, there’s a need for all to focus on digital skills acquisition especially Africa’s SMEs, considering that they make up a large percentage of the economy.
For instance, small and medium enterprises that have been able to adapt to digital trends demonstrated resilience during the raging of the pandemic.
On the other hand, those that were not digitally positioned had to race against time so as to catch up in the midst of the economic crisis.
To deepen Africa’s involvement in technology, many institutions have been set up such as the Anchorsoft Academy in Nigeria which trains students in software development, testing, and data science; Cote d’Ivoire’s virtual university UVCI which offers IT training at different levels and Google Digital Skills for Africa, an innovative digital training platform.
Google Digital Skills for Africa Program is a free training scheme initiated by Google to enable young Africans to acquire digital skills which they would need in building their businesses. It also aims to bridge the digital knowledge gap in the continent.
Within the first year of its inception in 2017, Google announced that it had trained one million people in order to promote employability and job creation, with plans to empower 10 million more within five years.
From training in Digital Marketing, Career Development to Data and Tech, participants of Digital Skills for Africa program have gone to make a success of their businesses.
One of them is Vanessa Mbamara, the Founder of Ztallion, a digital agency focused on branding, web and graphic design, and digital marketing.
Commenting on the life-changing opportunity Digital Skills for Africa opened up for her, she said,
“It was the changing point for me. It really helped me embrace digital, and I learned that I could start my own agency.
It has made a huge impact on my life. When we started, I was working from home. Today, we have two permanent staff and two interns.”
To say that hundreds of millions of Africans will require training or retraining in digital skills is not an exaggeration.
So, whether you’re a farmer, an entrepreneur, or a student wherever in Africa, having a good grasp of digital skills will determine Africa’s closeness to or distance from economic success.
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