by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – GERMANY software company, Systems Applications Products (SAP) Africa, has highlighted an urgent need to invest in skills development and training to ensure Africa can capitalise on its youth dividend.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, noted more than half of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 will take place in Africa, where 1,3-billion people are expected to be born by mid-century.
She said with the correct investment in skills development, Africa’s economy could transition away from its reliance on natural resources to build the world’s future tech workforce, bringing untold economic and social benefit to the continent and its citizens.
“However, as our research reveals, African organisations still face some difficulties with attracting, retaining and upskilling suitably skilled tech workers,” Smith said.
The research was conducted among organisations in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The “Africa’s Tech Skills Scarcity Revealed” report found that a lack of skills is having a negative effect on the continent’s digital transformation efforts.
Four in five organisations surveyed reported some negative effect from a lack of tech skills, with 41 percent reporting that employees are leaving due to the pressures they experience as a result of understaffing.
Other consequences include not being able to meet client needs (reported by 46 percent), reduced capacity for innovation (53 percent), and losing customers to competitors (60 percent).
Nearly all organisations expected to experience a tech skills –related challenge in 2023.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) also said they expect to experience a skills gap in the year ahead.
According to the data, the top skills challenge for African organisations is attracting skilled new recruits, although in South Africa the retention of skilled employees narrowly edged out attracting skills as the top challenge.
In response to the ongoing tech skills challenges, organisations are taking bold steps to ensure they have access to the correct tech skills.
The “Africa’s Tech Skills Scarcity Revealed” report further found that the most in-demand skills include cyber security and data analytics (63 percent), developer and industry skills (49 percent) and digital transformation skills (48 percent).
– CAJ News