As the year 2023 gets on track, leaders of African countries have been called upon to take digital skills education more seriously so as to build the right kind of workforce to drive development of the continent.
Osita Oparaugo, founder/CEO of GetBundi, who made the call on Tuesday while interacting with journalists in Lagos, said lack of digital skills workforce would hurt Africa’s economic development if not addressed immediately.
He asserted that acquiring digital skills is a must for anyone in the 21st century, especially in Africa.
To buttress this point, the GetBundi founder cited a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, which found that 230 million jobs across Africa would require some level of digital skills by 2030, translating to a potential for 650 million training opportunities and an estimated $130 billion market.
According to him, preliminary findings of another research on the Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Rwanda markets by IFC and the World Bank (through the Digital Development Program Trust Fund) showed that by 2030 some level of digital skills would be required for 50-55 percent of jobs in Kenya, 35-45 percent in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Rwanda, and 20-25 percent in Mozambique.
He said only countries with STEM and digital skills-enabled citizenry can achieve meaningful development in the present world.
Citing Singapore and China which are now flourishing economies as a result of the critical role scientific and technological advancements have played in them, Oparaugo said, “What China and Singapore have achieved in less than 50 years, Africa can also attain using STEM education and STI Skills acquisition, especially when one considers the abundance of human capital and the resilient nature of Africans, especially the youths.”
He said it was to promote digital skills learning across Africa that GetBundi, an educational technology platform designed to deliver high quality, engaging and accessible STEM courses and STI skills, was launched in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, in June 2022.
“Recently, in December 2022, we decided to run some of our GetBundi digital skills courses in Pidgin English to make them more accessible to more Africans given the conclusion of studies by the World Bank, UNESCO and others that using a language of instruction closest to the people matters a lot especially for learning foundational skills,” Oparaugo said.
He said the edtch platform has a vision to up-skill, through its STEM and digital skills centre, 10 million Africans by 2032 and beyond in order to create an inclusive sustainable development driven by technology.