The Education Support Forum (TEDSF) has launched an African ICT Skills Mapping and Audit initiative on https://ict-skills-africa.org that seeks to list ICT skills training providers in order to understand the skills available and those that are needed in the continent.
This initiative is aimed at assisting policy makers in the 54 countries including multilateral institutions like the African Development Bank and World Bank fully. It will see the digital mapping of ICT skills training services providers across Africa and is estimated to save US$10-billion in interventions.
African consumers and students are expected to save around 100-million hours per year from more efficient skills and school matching through information on the digital maps platform. This value of time saved amounts to US$1 billion based on local wage rates.
The initiative was conducted with the main aim of taking advantage of the benefits of digital geospatial service technologies.
“If we can map every ICT skills training provider and fully understand what skills are out there and what we need as a continent, then I truly believe that we will be positively contributing to the human development of our people”, said Edzai Zvobwo, Chairman of TEDSF. Studies show that mapping tools and applications are making positive economic contributions around the globe to employment, emergency response and time management. Now students in Africa will be able to match their desired skills with providers in their locality and beyond.
The platform will also serve as a lead generation engine for businesses that are involved in training Africa’s youth in ICT skills. Businesses have benefited from digital mapping services. According to a report by Google, digital maps have supported around US$45-billion in sales for African businesses by providing useful facts such as store hours, contact information and reviews.
There is evidence that digital mapping makes the planet a greener and healthier place too. CO2 emissions from vehicles could be reduced by 12 million mt from digital maps in Africa, through enabling more efficient vehicle trips, modal choices, and reduced congestion. Emergency response times, meanwhile, are reduced by 20%, resulting in significant lives saved.
Public policy and government relationships manager at Google South Africa Fortune Sibanda said “At Google, we’ve long known how powerful digital mapping services can be. They aren’t just a way of making it easier for people to get around, they’re tools for exploration, business, and education. Digital Maps have become powerful tools for policymakers to ensure the safety of their citizens, and for companies and consumers to save time and money when managing their daily affairs. And their benefits are far bigger than people may think. We discovered that geospatial services not only make life easier – by helping people turn their intentions of finding a place into actions of getting there – but also support the global economy by creating tangible benefits for businesses and consumers.”12