By Ousman Bah, IIHT CEO
How can we not talk about digital transformation in The Gambia when our nation has been absent from the global technology revolution for over 22 years? As a technology evangelist in the IT skills development industry for so long, IIHT had its eyes on the government’s plans for ICT development. These projects promise great things for our youth, the industrial economics of the country and reducing the 22 year of high unemployment rate in the country.
It’s time that the youth in the country should understand that nothing is going to be handed over to them when it comes to getting a job. We must change the mindset of I can’t do it…I can’t afford it to I CAN DO IT. Challenges must become opportunities. They should be ready to face the reality of the truth in the slogan “No Skill, No Job.” This is true of both the manufacturing and the services industry sectors.
But this is way more relevant for the services sector. In the IT industry alone, skill sets now have a shorter shelf life than ever. A technology relevant today may lose its appeal to newer technology in the market tomorrow. As a result, aspirants need to upgrade at a faster pace and the frequency of learning new technology will keep on decreasing for them.
We are also aware that, automation that will probably eat up 1.5 million jobs by 2020 in both manufacturing and services sector. The good news is that newer technologies like Virtualization, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Networking and Cybersecurity will produce as many as 2.5 million additional jobs.
With the Gambia being nearly last in terms of IT infrastructure and digital transformation, our problem is not the scarcity of jobs but our problem is to have a single digit of less than 5% as the percentage of potential workforce with formal job-oriented training. Gambia is the only English-speaking nation in the sub-Sahara. We need to see ourselves as having a unique opportunity to become the IT hub for these sub regions because most IT languages are written in English.
It is time for parents to motivate and inspire their children to make them believe that they can achieve anything to which they are willing to put their minds. They also need to understand the work requires total dedication, sacrifice and discipline. IIHT is prepared to restructure its mode of operations with a blend of technology and education. Are you?
IIHT Gambia Ltd
Tel: (+220) 7001968 / 5044060