WB report: 55pc of Kenyan jobs to require digital skills

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 00:00 | By
Most countries including Kenya will however face an acute shortage of highly trained personnel due lack of training institutions for the specialised training.

More than 50 per cent of jobs in Kenya will require digital skills by 2030 as a thriving ICT sector and start-up ecosystem blossoms, a new World Bank report shows.

Consequently, the labour force in Kenya will require about 17 million workers trained in digital skills across various sectors of the economy.

A repoty titled Demand for Digital Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa says Kenya will experience the fastest shift towards digitisation as most jobs will need ICT skills, thanks to its vibrant tech startup ecosystem and fast growing ICT sector.

“Known as the Silicon Savannah, Kenya’s thriving ICT sector is home to the continent’s most cutting-edge startups, which is expected to drive digital adoption,” the report prepared by the World and the International Finance Corporation says.

The report notes that programmes such as government internships for ICT graduates and the establishment of tech hubs and incubators go a long way to increase digital literacy in Kenya.

Start-up ecosystem

“By 2030, 50-55 percent of all jobs in Kenya will require digital skills, driven by a thriving ICT sector and start-up ecosystem and resulting in strong growth in the demand for digital skills across the country,” says the report.

This means there is need for training and upskilling existing personnel to ensure there is sufficient supply of workers in the market.

The report cites Andela, Moringa, Cisco, Pwanitechnogalz, digikids as key sources of ICT training for Kenyans.

“Kenya is a large, fast-growing economy that has among the highest literacy rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as high mobile phone penetration and mobile money inclusion,” the World Bank said.

Most of the ICT skills will be needed in the services sector followed by manufacturing and finally agriculture.

Close to two years after the virus began, remote work shows no signs of going away.

While it has its cons, it remains top of mind for potential employees around the world before joining a new company.

However only about 5-10 per cent of households in Kenya are expected to be able to afford digital skills training for intermediate and more advanced skills by 2030.

Comparatively, thirty-five to 45 per cent of all jobs in Côte d’Ivoire,Nigeria, and Rwanda are expected to require digital skills, supported by a strong ICT infrastructure and supportive policies towards digital literacy.

The report which presents an analysis of supply and demand for digital skills in five countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Rwanda quantified the demand by assessing the market opportunity presented by that demand, and identified successful emerging training models for the provision of digital skills.

Digital readiness

Mozambique’s digital readiness is the weakest among the five countries, with an expected demand of 20-25 percent of all jobs requiring digital skills by 2030.

Kenya and Nigeria have the highest demand for digital training opportunities, driven by the size of the labor force and expected adoption of digital skills in these two economies.

Nigeria, on the other hand, has experienced a slower growth rate in the past few years due to the oil crisis, but it remains a large market with a demand of about 57 million cumulative training opportunities over the next decade.

Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda have relatively smaller, but fast-growing markets, according to the report.

More on Business