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Raise capacity; make regulations flexible for youths to fit into emerging ICT jobs—Report

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The Foresight African Report (FAR) 2017 has revealed that African governments and Nigeria in particular have the best chance to grow new job opportunities for youth population if they can review and recalibrate their relevant regulatory frameworks and deepen capacity building along the lines of emerging Information and Communications Technology (ICT) innovations.

According to the report, the emerging massive chunks of deep pocket digital jobs for the continent’s young job seekers are expected to zoom out from the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analytics.

This is the main reason why the report is calling on African governments to prepare its young and middle class workforce to avoid another round of job porting to China and India.

Another revelation stemming from the FAR report is that feelers from global dynamics and trending policy summersaults’ regime coming from the US and lead by Donald trump may knock out China’s dominance as all is set for the Asian tigers to lose their competitiveness in low-end manufacturing of ICT hardware.

Though analysts say India currently stepping into this one-trillion-dollar industry, may be another danger for African ICT innovators considering its sudden takeover of China in several beats of industrial revolution and ease of doing businesses, the report believed that there is an opportunity for African countries to take advantage in IoT and Big Data business opportunities.

The report said one of the best options for Africa is to invoke ‘massive, practical capacity building in Africa’s SMEs through maker spaces or incubation centers’.

Part of the strategies the report gave governments in Africa is to employ tax incentives capable of boosting the rise of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and also the review of certain business laws to ease business development for the youths.

The report believed that establishment of ICT hubs across major populous states and cities will help avail youths the chances of catching in the deal faster.

Already, here in Nigeria, the NITDA had been driving ICT Hub development but with minimal achievements even when the USPF fund is at play.

Investigations by Business Hilights show that most of the hubs currently doing well in parts of the country are those started and driven by youths’ and market makers.

A typical example is the Ikeja Computer Village where youths have been doing well until lately when the state government is mulling relocation to a remote and distant part of the state.

The Far statement also raised issues of continental importance on mobile connectivity, noting that “Africa is still the world’s most under-penetrated region in terms of mobile connectivity in spite of the fact that it recorded an annual subscriber growth over the same period of more than 13 per cent”.

“Improved universal infrastructure that is affordable, a flexible policy and regulatory environment would go a long way in realizing Africa’s digital potential. With improved access to the internet and a more open policy environment, African enterprises could be better equipped to leapfrog and create innovative solutions.

Again, FAR contended that “The adoption of 4G in sub-Saharan Africa is dismal owing to the fact that the relevant spectrum is still tied up in analog broadcast as administration of digital migration in some countries is slow and as a result, many countries in the region have allocated far less spectrum to mobile services than their counterparts in other parts of the world, even though the region is heavily dependent on mobile networks for internet access”.


Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.