Tech’s democratising access to new industries in Africa


African tech innovators

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – BUSINESS leaders from across various industries have hailed how technology is solving the skills gap on the continent and democratising access to jobs.

Technology is democratising entry into industries such as insurance, computer science and healthcare.

Previously, people would have had to study for long degrees to enter into these industries but can do so more readily today thanks to the way technology is changing how, what and where they learn.

For Africa, this is important because of the continent’s growing population.

Studies indicate the African youth of today will become the world’s future workforce.

Statistics also show that the region’s technological competitiveness is growing, particularly in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Noluthando Madzivhe, Talent Development Manager at Huawei SA, noted the transformative role of technology in bridging the skills gap and opening up new opportunities for Africa’s burgeoning youth population and the urgency to equip African youth with the necessary tech skills to thrive in the future global workforce.

Huawei is at the forefront of this transformative agenda through its ICT Academy and various skills development and training programmes.

These initiatives are aimed at shortening the learning curve traditionally associated with entering high-demand sectors.

By providing accessible and practical tech education, Huawei says it is preparing individuals for the job market and altering the landscape of industry entry, making it more inclusive and equitable.

Andrew Bourne, Regional Head, Africa at Zoho, believes the right tech tools, at the right price can support digital literacy and develop the ICT skills South Africa needs.

“We need to future-proof children so that they are equipped to apply for jobs that require digital and development skills,” he said.

Genevie Langer, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, believes with a vast range of skills required within the broader tourism sector, there is a great opportunity for youth and especially young women to forge careers in the industry.

“Career openings exist across a number of disciplines from accommodation to marketing, and many other diverse products and services,” Langer said.

Mentorship and coaching form a critical role in providing access to career opportunities. That is according to Gail Odgers, Head of Acquisition at Sportingbet.

The official said it is important for systems to be put in place that facilitate mentorship, learning opportunities and skills development for women.

“Also, soft skills development and engagement leveraging industry updates, coaching, and engaging with other women in the industry at conferences,” Odgers said.

Executives commented on the value of artificial intelligence and machine learning skills training.

Vis Govender, Group CEO at First Equity Group and Co-Founder at Everything.Insure, said by using these technologies, insurtech was enabling the creation of insurance products with intelligent underwriting that are more competitively priced.

Ursula Fear, Salesforce senior talent programme manager, concurred, noting the world is moving towards one in which AI will be pervasively integrated into business systems and processes.

“With that comes an increased risk of cyber-attacks, and the future will require knowledgeable IT professionals who can implement solutions, especially if South Africa is to be globally competitive,” Fear said.

– CAJ News

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