Kenya’s widening ICT skills gap worries experts

Aggrey Eric Omondi, an ICT officer at Nakuru Law Courts, setting up video conference equipment. May 8, 2020. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A new study expects 50-55 per cent of jobs in Kenya to rely on digital skills by 2030, up from 25-30 per cent in 2019.

According to a new report released yesterday by UNESCO in conjunction with Chinese tech giant Huawei, the digital economy is expected to account for 25 per cent of the global GDP by 2026, up from 15.5 per cent in 2016.

This will require a new skill set and knowledge, which many countries such as Kenya are deficient in.

Among the jobs that will require new skills are security, data analysis and processing and cloud computing.

“While Africa expects the digital economy to contribute about 5.2 per cent of its GDP by 2025, Kenya’s digital economy is expected to generate 9.24 per cent of the total GDP by 2025. Therefore, interventions that can contribute to further strengthening of the digital economy in Kenya are desirable,” says the report.

The study notes that Kenya’s widening skills gap has been worsened by the growing but still low number of ICT graduates both at intermediate and advanced levels, with less than 5,000 students joining the field annually.

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