Kenya’s ICT capacity building model works – ITU

Francis Wangusi, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, described the affirmation that regulators play a key role in facilitating ICT skills development as a major outcome of the 2016 Global Symposium on Capacity Building held recently in Nairobi.

The gathering of more than 400 ICT industry stakeholders focused on future priorities for capacity building and new skills requirements in a changing digital ICT environment.

Brahima Sanou, Director of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunication Development Bureau, says the Symposium marked the start of an important discussion on new skill requirements in the digital era, particularly in the context of working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Kenya he added, is an illustration of how this can be achieved. “Kenya is today a renowned tech-hub and a model for ICT innovation. It is a great example for us and, especially, for young people and future generations of leaders in developing countries,” Sanou added.

Wangusi lauded the ministerial roundtable where the discussions around ICT as an enabler of education took place. “The Ministers highlighted the critical role of ICTs as an enabler of education noting that they provide educational content in new, better and more effective ways. The Ministers also highlighted the importance of linking ICT policies and education policies, in order to address the institutional reforms necessary for ensuring the availability of the skills required in the digital society. A priority in this regard was the need to ensure capacity building in ICT is integrated in education.”

Delegates emphasised the importance of equipping people with the necessary ICT skills so that they can be part of the digital society, as well as the opportunities within digital transformation and market disruption.

Wangusi added: “The Symposium discussed the skills required for companies to turn the emerging technologies into business opportunities and creating new jobs, as well as the capacity building challenges arising from these new jobs. Panelists further observed that while the digital economy will create many jobs, including among small and medium-sized enterprises, a huge digital skills gap was looming and one of the ways to mitigate this gap was to stimulate investments in the development of ICT capabilities in the new areas that demand new sets of skills. As ICT skills become critical in the digital economy, there was a need to develop some global benchmarks for these ICT skills, as well as some tools for assessment, training and certification.”

“The Symposium made particular note of the importance of collaboration in capacity building between industry and academia. Universities were urged to adopt new innovative teaching methodologies that are in line with the recent developments in ICT, and prepare their professors for the needs of the millennials.”

Source: IT Web Africa

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