This digital age is not a temporary phenomenon or a trend that will vanish in a matter of time. It is the platform that brings the role players of the economic system together, creating what is known as the digital economy.
A digital economy is an economy based on digital technologies. This is an economy based on an internet (New Economy) with main components of e-business infrastructure which includes hardware, software, telecoms, networks, and human capital; e-business which includes the process of conducting business using the computer-mediated networks; and r-commerce which involves a transfer of goods from a place to another online. By 2050, the African population is estimated to be at 1.3 billion people; of which 15 – 20 million will constitute well-educated youth. The youth will be either employed, underemployed or unemployed. The continent will face a challenge of creating jobs to such young African or else, the continent will remain at the threat of political instability in the coming years. In order to enhance the skills needed to prepare the youth for the digital economy and future, the following need to be undertaken.
As our continent advances in the fields of technology, manufacturing, computer software and information, our economies become more digitized. Economic activities such as trade, financial systems, data and processes become more based in the digital economy. This transformation brings new opportunities to the continent, and we will need certain skills that will best optimize them. The youth of Africa needs be at the forefront of this because our generation will be one of the first to have most of its economic activities in the digital economy.
The digital economy is a new concept in Somaliland (north Somalia) and the Somali regions. However, we can still find good examples that catch our attention; like zaad mobile money services in Somaliland, the e-commerce business Ari Farm in Somali, and many more e-commerce businesses by local nationals. Local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) have also given great consideration to funding e-commerce business ideas by youth in general and information technology (IT) graduates in particular, e.g., Innovate Ventures in Somaliland. Nevertheless, many of our youth are still missing the skills needed to generate enough economy from the rapidly growing digital world. My blog will mainly discuss online freelancing as a source of digital economy, challenges, solutions and an insight into the future of work in Somaliland.
With the increasing technological advancements, there is no doubt that many jobs would be taken by machines in the future. In fact, this has manifested itself already as we have seen computers doing jobs that were once performed by people.
Nowadays, having an edge in the digital world can promote development and open up international horizons. This emphasizes the importance of accepting the reality of the digital economy and its evolution, at a time when digital currencies and electronic payments are becoming increasingly popular and when artificial intelligence and innovations are advancing rapidly. This new economy is well on the way to modifying and even eliminating certain jobs. But it will also give rise to others, the so-called jobs “of tomorrow.” I propose the following course of action to provide better skills training to young Africans in my country.
I used a laptop for the first time in the ninth grade. Until then, my education had consisted of cramming and regurgitating facts without any attempt at understanding and/or internalizing them. Thinking outside the box and finding creative and novel solutions to problems –a cornerstone of innovation–was frowned upon and actively discouraged. This, perhaps, is Africa’s biggest problem – even more so in a field where the biggest names started before they turned 30.
According to Wikipedia, the digital economy simply refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies. In Nigeria, the digital economy is expected to generate $88 billion and three million jobs for citizens by 2021. The burning question is “how prepared are the youths for this emerging digital economy?”
Well, we may not be prepared right now, but the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) provides the perfect incubator to prepare the youths for the digital future of work.
Not one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be accomplished without digital. Information and communication technology (ICT) is increasingly disrupting our changing world. In Africa, the world's youngest continent, it is crucial to ensure Africa’s greatest resource, youth, will be able to adjust efficiently and effectively as new skills are redefined by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Letter to the President of the Republic of Mali
My name is Alima. I am 15 years old and I am from the Sikasso region. On this beautiful afternoon in November 2018, we are celebrating the arrival of 3G Internet services in my village of Pimperna. This event is an opportunity for me to use this newly created blog to share my thoughts with you.