Surveys show ICT skills lacking in Africa

Technology training can reduce the skyrocketing unemployment rate in Africa, the 2012 study by Telecommunications Survey reveals.

According to the survey, three out of five youths in Africa are either unemployed or underemployed.

The 2012 Telecommunications Survey conducted by Landelahni Business Leaders found that technology training can equip the youth with essential ICT skills in Africa’s skills-lagging ICT sector where African employers are in need of critical technical skills to up their businesses.

The survey released in January this year shows ICT as a critical ingredient for global participation. It urged African governments to boost ICT skills among the youth to make them competitive in the largely growing technology world.

The survey further revealed a looming skills gap among the African technology workers amid the reality that African tech scene is booming with start-ups, government agencies and private firms looking for skilled tech developers.

Sandra Burmeister the Landelahni CEO stated in the report: “Opportunities abound throughout Africa, despite the challenges of poor infrastructure, disparate regulatory environments and ferocious competition.”
Commenting on the skills gap, the South African minister of science and technology Naledi Pandor said ICT promises to be the backbone of SA’s advancement and urged youth to take up ICT training.

For the last decade, the graduation rate in SA has dropped to 12.5 percent compared to the international average of 25 percent. Only 1700 degrees in computer science and electrical and electronic engineering are conferred with degrees each year compared to 3130 technical diplomas.

At present, South Africa has started institutions including Green Paper for Post School Education and Training to provide the essential ICT skills to the youth.

A 2012 survey by Dice and The Linux Foundation, an IT job specialist, made similar propositions.

According to the Dice and The Linux Foundation, 81 percent of their 2000 hiring managers argue that talent is a priority in 2012, while a full 85 percent said finding Linux talent is “somewhat very difficult.

The IT job specialist stated, hiring managers find the critical shortage of the technical skills essential for supporting the fast paced telecommunications growth sweeping across the African continent.

This according to Burmeister shows a scarcity in ICT skills in Africa.

A similar survey by Wired.com and Comptia in addition revealed the importance of technology for business profitability. The research, conducted in South Africa, Japan, UK, US and Canada concluded that 93 percent employers confirm an IT skills gap.

The Kenya ICT Board in its 2011 Julisha Report found 25 percent of companies in the country were not satisfied with the quality of ICT professionals produced by Kenyan universities and colleges.

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