Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 70% of Sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. This high number of the young population is Africa’s best bet for growth owing to the ready human resource. However, this is only possible if the young population is empowered, especially in a world that is turning to the internet, for opportunities and growth. Sadly, Sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest youngest population in the world, also has the highest unemployment rates. The internet, digital economy and crypto spaces are game-changers in the continent, exposing Africans with skills on the internet to numerous opportunities.
Foundational digital skills are critical to exposing Africans to access and engage with digital technology, while higher-order skills work to enable the Africans to engage with task-specific skills beyond the usual ICT sector. It is therefore important for Africans to understand the relevance of digital skills and the opportunities they can access by possessing these skills.
We are living at a time when disruptions are imminent, yet strike when least expected. For instance, the Covid-19 pandemic came at a time when it was least expected. The world may have expected such an event in the future, but at least not in 2020, when everything was looking up. Such disruptions set developing countries back, as they rarely have backup plans to manage these crises.
The covid-19 pandemic should be a warning shot, especially for Africa. The world has previously suffered technological disruptions that led to huge worker lay-offs in several industrial sectors. Equipping oneself with digital literacy skills allows individual Africans to stay ahead of the game and future-proof themselves. These skills will allow the application of technology to offer solutions when old business models will become obsolete in the digital world.
The majority of the young population in Africa remains unemployed. It is ironic because there is an unmet demand for human resources in the digital sector. For Africans seeking opportunities, it gets even better because there are emerging job opportunities in the digital sector, with better employment terms and better compensation.
The LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report states that 10 out of 15 of the emerging and tremendously growing jobs are directly related to digital and technology fields. This number keeps growing each year, as the world focuses more on digital and technology fields. This data underpins the importance of acquiring digital skills for a young population such as in Africa. Digital skill jobs are primarily in-demand and once you acquire the skills, you become a critical asset for any company.
If you can acquire baseline digital skills, you will be sure to at least increase your income, as you will be exposed to digital jobs, that pay higher than non-digital jobs. It gets better when you have specific digital skills, and much better when you possess invaluable advanced digital skills.
The young population in Africa is credited with a creative mindset, set to revolutionize the continent. The young population has already accomplished breathtaking fits because they are creative. A lot of these creative works can be seen on digital platforms. Initiating a better percentage of this young population to digital platforms promises to boost their creativity and imagination.
Currently, the world has over 4 billion internet users. A better percentage of this population access the web via their mobile devices. The number of internet users is on a steady incline and there is no sign of this dropping anytime soon. The skill to understand and effectively use social media is a valuable asset that companies are seeking. Social media marketing, in particular, is important and this goes beyond just posting on Facebook and Twitter. It requires one to establish the connection between a company’s brand and its prospects. The ability to manipulate social media is an opportunity that could pay your bills and more.
Data-driven precision marketing is likely to increase the sales of a company. This skill is critical to understanding the vision of a business. It further helps gather the important metrics that will enable a business to grow.
Even though an old form of direct marketing, it is a method that will ensure a company gets the right leads. A marketer with email marketing skills understands the process involved in setting up this strategy builds consumer engagement and consequently increases conversion rates in a company.
Content is created in many forms on digital platforms, from blog posts and podcasts to videos and infographics. And by the way, the social media posts you see, require an intense content creation strategy. Websites and social media pages are built by their content. Companies are on the lookout for skilled individuals, who can build their digital platforms through the creation of unique content.
NEAR Protocol, an infinitely scalable blockchain, offers educational opportunities for Africans willing to venture into digital platforms. NEAR Protocol, through NEAR University, grants Africans the opportunity to learn, earn and connect with other individuals in the ecosystem. The learning process is tailored to meet the different needs of interested learners in the ecosystem. It could be self-paced, online, or in-person, depending on the schedule of a learner. It only gets interesting because you get paid to learn. This is your opportunity to be part of NEAR’s fellowship programs, where NEAR will grant you bounties and funds for your dream project. Perhaps the best part of this process is connecting with developers and entrepreneurs in the ecosystem. Networking goes a long way to ensure your success.
Africa has great development potential, owing to the young human resource. The world on the other hand is fast shifting to entirely digital operations. It is therefore imperative that the young African population embraces digital skills. These skills will enable young Africans to increase their employability, boost their incomes, build their creativity, and most important become future proof to unforeseen circumstances. Digital marketing, data analytics, and content creation are some of the most rewarding opportunities. NEAR Protocol, through NEAR University, offers you the learning opportunity to grab some of these opportunities.
Sankore 2.0 is an Africa-focused community integrating the NEAR blockchain with projects and solutions conceived and built by local developers in Kenya. As noted in the content of this blog, Sankore 2.0 seeks to promote the development of Web3 products in Nairobi — for Kenya and for Africa as a whole.