By Kester Omu

A new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has disclosed that education and work in Sub-Saharan Africa will determine the livelihoods of nearly a billion people, claiming  46 per cent of work activities in Nigeria are susceptible to automation, while Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa are 44, 52 and 41 percent respectively.

The report titled ‘The Future of Jobs  and Skills in Africa, Preparing the Region for the  Fourth Industrial Revolution’, also noted that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to revolutionise the job market, advising African industries to adapt in order to survive.

Data collected by WEF in key African markets shows employers across the region identify inadequately skilled workforces as a major constraint to their businesses, including 41 percent of all firms in Tanzania, 30 percent in Kenya, 9percent in South Africa and 6 percent in Nigeria. This pattern may get worse in the future. In South Africa alone, 39 percent of core skills required across occupations will be wholly different from 2020.

It also noted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is having a disruptive effect on economies and the development of digital skills is vital. This, Siemens has already keyed into by creating opportunities for digitalization skills development across Africa.

According to reports, Siemens is handing over equipment specifically related to industrial automation that enables integrated engineering to 13 engineering faculties at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. This is part of the company’s commitment to sustainable skills development across the continent. The value of the equipment, the reports say is close to $400 000.

“In an African context, disruptive technology can be seen as an opportunity to leapfrog into the best and most advanced technologies, but this is only possible with access to the right training and equipment,” said Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

Dall’Omo promised that Siemens will continue its commitment to Africa and offer long-term support to beneficiaries by ensuring that students are able to train on the most advanced technology available. This, he said, will ensure graduates and the emerging workforce have the skills necessary to effectively lead large-scale digitalization across the continent, resulting in long-term benefits to economic growth.

The World Economic Forum briefing on the Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa uses the latest available data, including through a research partnership with LinkedIn, to provide a concise overview of the region’s education, skills and jobs agenda.


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