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In a rapidly evolving world, digitisation is gaining widespread significance across nations, which has continued to play a crucial role in shaping labor markets and contributing to the growth of economies.

As industries increasingly embrace digitization, the demand for individuals proficient in digital skills has continued to surge. This demand ranges from basic digital literacy that enables individuals to effectively use simple digital tools, to advanced digital skills necessary to participate in the global division of digital labour.

For good reasons, most governments around the world are prioritising digital skills as part of their digital agendas, as it is proven that these skills lead to significant growth of nations.

However, in the face of a rapidly evolving digital frontier, the African continent falls short of individuals equipped with digital skills than the rest of the world. In 2022, African countries scored between 1.8 and five on the Digital Skills Gap Index. This is below the global average of six.

Also, in a 2023 World Bank report, only 50 percent of countries in Africa have computer skills as part of their school curriculum, compared to 85 percent of countries globally.

Experts in the education and ICT sectors state that for young people in Africa to compete with their peers in the global job market, early introduction to digital skills has the potential to give them an advantage as they prepare for the modern workplace.

This is crucial because the International Finance Corporation noted that there will be about 230 million digital skill job gaps across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, hence the need to equip African youths with relevant digital skills.

Factors contributing to the digital skills gap in Africa

There are a lot of factors contributing to the digital skills gap in Africa, some of which are highlighted below;

Outdated curricula: In Africa, most secondary and tertiary institutions, operate with outdated educational curricula that do not incorporate modern digital skills and technology trends, which contributes to a workforce that lacks the necessary capabilities.

Lack of proficient teachers: The African continent is plagued with a dearth of teachers proficient in digital tools, which obstructs the effective adoption of technology in the education sector.

Lack of proper education infrastructure: In Africa, there is a high rate of inadequate educational infrastructure, such as a lack of computers, tablets, and reliable internet connections, which presents a major challenge for integrating digital education into classrooms.

Limited awareness: Most individuals in Africa are not aware of the importance of digital skills or the career opportunities available in the digital economy. Hence, the need to raise awareness about the value of digital literacy, to encourage interest and participation.

Insufficient Training Opportunities: Limited availability of specialized training programs and workshops, particularly in rural or underserved areas, often restricts the opportunities for individuals to acquire digital skills.

The GetBundi approach

With a deep understanding of how important digital skills are to the African continent, government-approved Educational Technology platform, GetBundi, seeks to ensure that a vast population of youths in Africa are properly equipped with relevant digital skills.

GetBundi is designed to address the shortage of qualified professionals who are proficient in digital technologies, data analysis, web development, artificial intelligence, and other relevant areas that can impede businesses’ ability to harness the full potential of the digital landscape.

The startup survey on the digital skill set landscape in Nigeria which was widely published, stated that over 85% of Nigerian graduates undergoing the mandatory one-year youth service (NYSC) 2022/2023 batch have no form of digital skill set apart from the use of social media.

It identified the root cause of these problems, as the inability of African students to understand and appreciate STEM subjects from an early stage due to the continent’s lack of investment in science education.

In a bid to ensure that the African continent does not play catch up with the rest of the world and miss out on highly skilled individuals, GetBundi has set out to massify quality STEM subjects for secondary school students and Digital Skill education for the youths 18-35 years.

The Educational platform is designed to deliver high-quality, engaging, and accessible Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for post-primary school education and Digital Skills Courses for youths across Africa.

GetBundi’s goal is to make quality STEM and Digital Skills learning across Africa accessible to everyone using technology. The startup approach to the problems facing Africa is different because of a deep understanding of the continent and its challenges.

With just $5 per month or $30 per year allowing up to three students in a family, a secondary school student can access GetBundi STEM subjects anytime any day, and join the community discussions in his or her respective year of study with teachers in attendance to guide and answer questions Monday through Saturday.

Also, GetBundi College of Technology is $300 for 9 months of study with 5 months of live classes. The curriculum is designed as per IEEE and CAM standards and benchmarked against the best in the world.

The faculty team has diversified expertise covering all computer science and information technology areas, and are incredible educators, prolific mentors, and dexterous intellectuals.

To ensure a thorough learning process, students are hand-held, to facilitate their learning process all along their curriculum with monthly performance-based tests.

The digital skills training methods curriculum is developed for the tech industry, by the industry to ensure any student who passes through the institution is job-ready and to support the digital transformation of the continent.

For this reason, GetBundi incorporated foreign tutors and experts into various departments to ensure global learning standards. Notably, for deeper understanding and penetration, the startup incorporated the teaching of professional digital skill courses in pidgin English, a move advocated by the World Bank.

By 2026, the startup envisions having about 15 professional digital skills courses in 7 indigenous languages spoken across Africa, with a target to up-skill 10 million African workforce under the initiative “The GetBundi Vision 2034”, which aligns with the African Union Agenda 2063.

GETBundi understands that equipping African youths with relevant digital skills enhances their competitiveness and empowers them to contribute to technological advancements and the economic growth of the continent.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Okezie Nwachukwu Mba

Quelle/Source: Business Day, 04.02.2024

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