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Digital Skills Gap in Africa

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 jobs that will be available in 2030 haven’t yet been invented, as the work humans do will continually shift due to the fact that most jobs will become obsolete due to the emergence of new ones.

Looking at the technological advancements emerging in the world today and how rapidly the world is evolving, there is a need for all youths globally to possess the relevant digital skills to be able to take up future jobs.

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In order to keep up with the rapidly evolving world, most countries in Europe have begun the process of empowering their citizens, especially the youths with relevant digital skills.

Unfortunately, in all of this, the African continent lags behind the rest of the world in nearly every digital-related skill. African countries are benefiting less from new technology and innovations because only a very small percentage of the population has 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 is limiting economic opportunities as well as retarding the growth of the continent.

Sub-Saharan Africa has been reported to have the lowest literacy rate in the world as the continent faces a huge digital skills gap, which is diluting economic opportunities and impeding development. Current statistics show that 90 percent of children in Africa leave school without learning any basic digital skills which limits much of what they can do in today’s world.

Africa has been reported to have the largest and youngest workforce in the world, yet many companies on the continent have only few Africans working for them because of the digital skills gap on the continent.

Lack of relevant skills in this digital age can limit opportunities for African countries to make the most of Digital technologies as they will continue to play catch up with the rest of the world if the gap is not bridged.

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

Experts have continued to raise concerns over the growing shortage of digital skills on the African continent which has been occasioned by massive brain drain. The few skilled individuals in Africa have been migrating to other countries in droves which has led to a huge skills gap on the continent.

Emerging technologies will inevitably change the nature of jobs in the future, which is why youths in the African continent need to develop themselves with digital skills to unlock a lot of opportunities for themselves, and also develop the African continent with their innovative ideas.

Considering the fact 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 African youths joining the workforce with the relevant future skills.

Although formal education is not easily accessible to every youth on the African continent majorly due to lack of finance. However quality online learning platforms like GetBundi, an Edtech platform that offers STEM skills, is currently on a mission to enable youths in Africa to acquire relevant future skills.

The platform makes on hand learning possible by offering STEM education irrespective of anywhere in Africa the individual is.

Therefore, there is a strong need for governments in the African continent to normalize non-conventional learning pathways. Also, another strategic way to bridge the digital skills gaps in Africa is by the creation of tech hubs where these youths can access world-class hardware and learn new skills.

These hubs can then transition them into formal employment, think-tanks and accelerators where they can create innovative ideas and technologies that will contribute the the region’s digital economy.

In this era, having a degree is not just enough anymore, as relevant digital skills have become a large criteria for most jobs available.

The government of Africa can take a cue from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following the  government’s collaboration with the Dubai 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 no doubt increase the percentage of digital skills talents among the youths in the African region. If a large percentage of the African population have the necessary digital skills, some problems ravaging the continent will be eradicated due to the emergence of new technologies and innovations.

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


To bridge the digital skill gap in Africa, governments and private stakeholders must be focused on equipping the people with digital skills. There is no disputing the fact that technology has become a key component in driving economic growth.

One amazing thing about digital skills is that with it, youths will not only have the opportunity to work in Africa, but will also have the opportunity to work anywhere in the world and be paid in foreign currency.

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

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