By Taiye Olayemi
Mr Osita Oparaugo, founder and Chief Executive Officer of GetBundi, an educational technology platform, has urged African leaders to prioritise digital skills education in 2023 so as to build the right workforce to drive the continent’s development.
Oparaugo made the call while interacting with journalists in Lagos.
He warned that the lack of a digitally-skilled workforce would hurt Africa’s economic development “if not addressed immediately”.
He declared that acquiring digital skills was “a must for anyone in the 21st century, especially in Africa”.
To buttress his point, the GetBundi founder cited a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, which found that 230 million jobs across Africa would require some level of digital skills by 2030.
“That translates to a potential for 650 million training opportunities and an estimated $130 billion market,” he explained.
According to him, preliminary findings of another research on Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Rwanda markets by IFC and the World Bank (through the Digital Development Programme Trust Fund) showed that by 2030, some level of digital skills would be required for 50-55 percent of jobs in Kenya.
“The research equally showed that digital skills will be required for 35-45 per cent of jobs in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Rwanda, and 20-25 percent in Mozambique,” he added.
He said that only countries with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and digital skills-enabled citizenry could achieve meaningful development in the present world.
He cited Singapore and China’s flourishing economies as examples of what nations could turn into if they became scientifically and technologically advanced.
“What China and Singapore have achieved in less than 50 years, Africa can also attain using STEM education and Science Technology Innovation (STI) skills acquisition “especially when one considers the abundance of human capital and the resilient nature of Africans, especially the youths.”
He said it was to promote digital skills learning across Africa that GetBundi, an educational technology platform designed to deliver high quality, engaging and accessible STEM courses and STI skills, was launched in Lagos, in June 2022.
“Recently, in December 2022, we decided to run some of our GetBundi digital skills courses in Pidgin English to make them more accessible to more Africans.
According to him, using that popular language followed a result of studies by the World Bank, UNESCO and others which showed that using a language of instruction closest to the people matters a lot, especially for learning foundational skills.
He said that the education technology platform had a vision to up-skill, through its STEM and digital skills centre, 10 million Africans by 2032 and beyond in order to create an inclusive sustainable development driven by technology. (NAN) (nannews.ng)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran