A lot of benefits will result from the digital economy if African youth are equipped with the digital skills they need. We can therefore enhance these digital skills to young people in the following ways:
Encourage the culture of study internships
It is a rare culture for young Tanzanians to seek for internships unless required by their learning institutions. By encouraging the culture of seeking internships intentionally, it will add up as an advantage for youth to gain digital skills that otherwise wouldn’t be obtained. Through the culture of internships, students will also have a reflective time to redefine their career path and experience the work dynamics and define their own future works.
Update the information and communications technology (ICT) syllabus and policies
The Tanzanian ICT syllabus and policies (Information Computer Technology) needs to be revised. In this curriculum, topics such as digital skills, financial literacy and entrepreneurship can be included. The aim of these topics is to make the students learn on how they can make investments and be competent key players and users in the digital economy and the future of work. By updating the syllabus, our nation will be in a good position to create a generation of young people who are solely well equipped with digital skills, entrepreneurial thinking which will boost investments in digital economy and shape the future of work dynamics.
Open access project hubs with unlimited internet
Open access hubs with no restrictions in learning and unlimited access to internet facilities. Digital economy comes hand in hand with connectivity. In these hubs, the main target is to cultivate self-directed learning at a unique pace, while at the same time acquiring digital skills and take ownership of their projects journey. Youth will be able to interact with each other and group according to shared interests to work on the projects so long as the projects should involve a digital solution. In the process of doing the projects, digital skills will be obtained and have a chance to work hand in hand with the facilitators to reach their end goal. Once each year, young people should showcase their innovations, pitch to the investors, get funding, mentorship and kickstart their own ventures. Thus, youth will have the ability to shape their own ways of working.
Let’s face it: these recommended actions will work effectively when the government and other stakeholders open doors for youth who seek for internships in preparation for future of works, when education sector work hand in hand with the technology world for frequent updates and when telecommunication companies leverage the internet bundles to youth so as to ensure the constant connectivity.
Alice Ahadi Magaka is a winner of the World Bank Africa 2019 Blog4Dev regional competition.