By 2035, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world.
Liquid Telecom South Africa (LTSA) recently commissioned an African Digital Skills Report to see how Africa fairs in the technological space.
“We are in about 12 countries in Africa and we use different resources in those countries to gather the data, most of which comes from workers on the ground and the rest agencies to pull that data,” said Becky Mosehle, Chief Human Resources Officer at LTSA.
She said the continent had several countries performing well in gaining digital skills of the future. “Kenya and Rwanda have come out tops. South Africa is also doing well. A country not in the report but is active in the digital space is Egypt. The more we scale the better because it creates an opportunity to have more people to learn from and collaborate with. From a South African perspective I would like to see more locals getting into that space, ” said Mosehle.
Zimbabwe’s government is reviewing tertiary education curricula to align with future needs and support ambitions to industrialise the country through science and technology by 2030.
Rwanda is commonly identified as a frontrunner in the East Africa region in terms of ICT infrastructure, with the government pursuing a positively pro-digital approach to development but thedigital literacy rates are still relatively low.
South Africa ranks among the top 10 countries leading the digital transformation change required to compete in 21st century economies, in the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index II. Kenya has carved out for itself a reputation as a leading tech hotspot on the African continent, with innovations such as M-Pesa and Ushahidi having hit world headlines as some of the first big tech news emanating from Africa.
Data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud, are just some of the emerging technologies being used by the regions start-ups to develop solutions to real African problems.
Earlier this year Liquid Telecom collaborated with University of Johannesburg and hosted a hackathon where students were tasked to develop a game that would address learning challenges at primary school level. The collaboration expands to Research and Development in Robotics, AI and Internet of Things. “We are using the Cape to Cairo fibre link connectivity to touch the communities. Our vision is to deliver pan African prosperity through technology and a lot of activity is happening specifically around small businesses.
We are now collaborating with small enterprises around think tech, edu tech- those are the areas we need in Africa," said Mosehle.
Liquid Telecom launched the 21CSkills platform to enable African learners, students, adults whoever is interested in acquiring digital skills. 21CSkills is available freely to all interested in developing digital skills in Africa.
The platform is being used to train data scientist students participating in the DataHack4FI competition. Entrants in the competition have enrolled on the data science course across seven countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa.
Students have access to a range of support structures while completing the online course. The meetups have been held by i2i and Liquid Telecom in all seven countries, enabling students to engage directly with data science experts and learn from each other.
“The beauty with the digital economy is that you don’t have to be in an ICT sector to be a techie or to have digital skills because those skills are now applicable across all industries."