Why Africa needs to rethink education to grasp software development opportunities

The bulging working population in Africa could present an opportunity, only if governments act fast.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 13% of the world's working age population; a number that is set to increase to more than 17% by 2030 -- the world's second largest after Asia -- according to a report released last year by WeForum. "With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, Sub-Saharan Africa is already the world's youngest region today - and, by 2030, will be home to more than one-quarter of the world's total under-25 population," the report said.

The current economy structure will be overwhelmed by the growing population and a new shift to train today's youth for work beyond the traditional is needed - urgently.

Software engineering has been tipped to be an industry where African youth can supply their tech talent not only in developed markets where the need for high quality trained developers is at an all-time high, but also to grow African based companies.

This is a well beaten path in terms of policies, and even tested with the likes of Andela, but, governments in Africa have done little to push this agenda. Kenya's Ajira Digital portal, launched by the government, was one that was hyped to bridge youths to outsourced jobs in developed markets. However, there has been little gain on the platform that relists jobs from third party job markets.

During the Connected Kenya Summit 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru said that the platform has trained over 15,000 young people and aims to launch Ajira Clubs in various university campuses. Its effect has not been quantified yet.

However, the government is not letting go of this bone. The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) with guidance from the ministry of ICT is looking to revamp the portal, after conducting surveys on digital jobs.

To continue reading this article register now