Baltic states in ICT talent exchange with African nations


Baltic states

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – SOME 85 digital talents from Kenya, Nigeria and Armenia are to take part in a talent exchange programme facilitated by the Baltic nations over the next three years.

This is part of initiatives to help meet demand for specialists and increase innovation and competitiveness in Europe and partner countries in the developing world.

This is under the Digital Explorers scheme, a groundbreaking initiative fostering an information and communications technology (ICT) talent exchange between the Baltic nations – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia- and the abovementioned countries.

The initiative launched in Brussels, Belgium plans to relocate 85 digital talents to Baltic front-runner tech companies through three specialised tracks, comprising professionals, trainees and ambassadors, and offer tailored training and career advancement opportunities to 65 IT specialists.

Fola Olatunji-David, Advisor to the Nigerian Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, and George Njuguna Kamau, Chief Information Officer at Safaricom (Kenya), are Digital Explorers board members.

They noted numerous similarities between African and Baltic ICT ecosystems.

Among these is the lack of talent to fill the needs in the tech sector.

This is seen as a deterrent to the three Baltic countries that have around 6,3 million people and some 3 000 start-ups.

Olatunji-David noted that Nigeria lacked high-tech talent, hence the government has intervened.

“Talent is becoming Nigeria’s new oil as the country is eagerly investing in training and outsourcing to fill the growing needs of the global technology sector,” he said.

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is overly reliant on oil.

Kamau said Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, was also addressing hurdles to grow its talent base.

“The lack of senior talent is only solved by adequate and market-oriented training,” he noted.

A consortium of Lithuanian think-tank, OSMOS Global Partnerships, Estonian Center for International Development and Latvian Startup Association Start are implementing the Digital Explorers programme for 2023-2026.

Lithuania’s Ambassador to the European Union, Arnoldas Pranckevičius, noted the Baltics had vast experience with Eastern partner countries but limited engagement with Africa.

“Nonetheless, ICT sector development, which is at the heart of Digital Explorers, offers mutual benefits for all countries involved,” the envoy said.

– CAJ News

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