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SAP offer solution to Digital Skills Gap in Africa

by Ikenna Ngere

‘Africa’s Tech Skills Scarcity Revealed’ is a new publication from SAP Africa that aims to highlight the potential and challenges faced by African organizations looking to increase the availability of tech skills.

The development of skills and training are urgently needed, according to Cathy Smith, the managing director of SAP Africa, so that Africa can take advantage of its youth dividend.

According to the report which was released at a webinar conference organised for African journalists, “More than half of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 will take place in Africa, where 1.3 billion people are expected to be born by mid-century. With the correct investment in skills development, Africa’s economy could transition away from its reliance on natural resources to build the world’s future tech workforce, bringing untold economic and social benefit to the continent and its citizens. However, as our research reveals, African organisations still face some difficulties with attracting, retaining and upskilling suitably skilled tech workers.”

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the study was done among organizations in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The survey showed that the continent’s efforts to undergo digital transformation are suffering from a shortage of skills.

A shortage of IT skills has a detrimental impact on four out of five organizations, with 41% stating that employees are departing because of the stress that comes with having too few staff members. Additional negative effects include failing to satisfy consumer needs (46%), having less capacity for innovation (53%), and losing clients to other businesses (60 per cent).

The report also stated that in 2023, challenges linked to tech skills were anticipated by almost all organizations.

Additionally, more than two-thirds (69%) stated that they anticipate experiencing a skills gap in the coming year.

The statistics show that getting skilled new employees is the top skills difficulty for African organizations, however in South Africa, keeping skilled workers on staff narrowly edged out attracting skills as the top challenge.

According to the report, organizations are making significant moves to make sure they have access to the right tech talents in response to the growing tech skills shortage.

In 2023, 41% of respondents indicated that reskilling personnel would be a key priority, while 40% indicated that upskilling current employees would.

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