Mobile Web Ghana to host Africa Digital Skills Conference in July

Friday 14th February, 2020
Science Digital Conference

By A.B. Kafui Kanyi/Caleb Kuleke

Ho, Feb. 14, GNA - Mobile Web Ghana and its partners are gearing up to host this year's Africa Digital Skills Conference slated for July.

The three-day conference dubbed: “Digital Skills for future jobs," will be held at the Bank of Ghana Conference Hall, University of Ghana.

It is expected to provide opportunities for students, entrepreneurs, institutions and the youth in Ghana and Africa to teach and learn basic digital skills such as email management, excel and new technologies in data science, artificial intelligence and geospatial technologies.

There will also be interactions on intermediate skills such as social media for small and medium sized businesses.

The conference is aimed at promoting teaching and learning of digital skills across Africa and will also help to develop a common vision on needed digital skills, challenges faced by people in the field and ways to overcome them.

Madam Florence Toffa, Director of Mobile Web Ghana told the Ghana News Agency that, “the conference will create a critical mass of individuals and organisations with foundational digital skills required to bridge the skills gap in and across the continent.

"Also, it will create a platform for digital skills network and connections as well as building a solid digital foundation for Africa's economies.”

She said there would be exhibition of educational materials, technology innovations, job opportunities and career counseling.

The need for the conference is anchored on the fact that by 2030, over 230 million jobs, resulting in almost 650 million training opportunities, in Sub-Saharan Africa, will require digital skills.

The Ghana News Agency gathered that Africa has over 200 million youthful population (aged 15-24) who are the future labour force of the continent, thus the need to give them requisite training as the world was fast gravitating towards digitization.

International Finance Corporation report showed that over nine million jobs in Ghana would require digital skills by 2030, translating to about 20 million training opportunities, according to checks by the GNA.

The revenue opportunity size across Sub-Saharan Africa in digital skilling is also $130 billion through 2030, while the opportunity in Ghana alone represents nearly $4 billion in revenue potential through same year.

The largest opportunities are also in business-to-business and business-to-government training for basic and intermediate skills though there are significant opportunities in business-to-consumer skilling focused on intermediate and advanced skills.

Checks also revealed that there was a strong demand for digital skills in Ghana and Africa from industries and economies across Africa as technology had levelled the playing field with the need to create avenues for knowledge sharing, acquisition, digital and economic empowerment.

This demand for digital skills is also driven by latent economic growth as well as the digitization and automation of the financial, agriculture, manufacturing and services industries.

A Global System Mobile Association report 2019, indicated that mobile internet users stood at 3.6 billion in 2018 and it is expected to rise to five billion in 2025, while current mobile penetration is 47 per cent and will rise to 61 per cent, representing a 4.8 per cent increase.

The report also showed that the digital mobile ecosystem had created over 14 million jobs directly and about 17 million jobs indirectly.

Madam Toffa said the importance of Digital Skills could therefore not be overemphasised as different skills sets were needed for the future, with socio-behavioral skills and digital skills being the most critical for success.

She said employers anticipated more than 40 per cent of skills required for the workforce would change before 2022, with more than half of employees needing to learn different or more advanced skills.

Madam Toffa therefore urged the public to get involved in the conference through +233-542-951337.

Mobile Web Ghana is a technology and entrepreneurship hub focused on developing and nurturing the youth and organisations to leverage on technology to solve local problems in communities and at work.

They run capacity building programmes, ICT-for-development projects, Open Data related projects, geo-spatial data collection, entrepreneurship training, co-working spaces and incubation space among others.