By Staff Reporter
JOHANNESBURG – AFRICA ‘s youth have a great opportunity to shape and influence the digital economy across the continent.
These sentiments where by echoed SAP Africa Managing Director Brett Parker as South Africa commemorated youth day .
“With the digital skills shortage weighing heavily on the minds of African business leaders, it is critical that we jointly develop solutions to build the skillscapacity that will drive Africa’s economy in the coming years.
With so many traditional occupations set to be transformed by machine learning solutions, it isessential that we fast-track the development of key digital skills such as datascience to ensure the workforce is equipped to deal with the challenges of the future.” Said Parker .
It is envisaged as automation technologies such as machine learning and robotics play an increasingly great role in everyday life , their potential effect on the workplace has unsurprisingly , become a major focus of research and public concern .
‘Experts estimate that machine learning and robotics will replace more than 70% of service technicians, and three-quarters of call centre agents in the coming years.Even traditional occupations such as those in law and accounting are not immune,with 94% of auditing and accounting roles set to be automated.’ adds Parker
“Compounding the issue of youth skills development is the fact that universities and industry are both facing constantly changing workforce needs, often leading to a misalignment between the skills that are developed at university, and the skills required in industry. The SAP Next-Gen initiative aims to partly address this by bringing together universities, students, customers, and partners in an open collaboration to start exploring some of the key issues faced by industry, and developing the technical and critical thinking skills required to solve them.” The recent launch of the Africa chapter of the Women in Data Science initiative aimed to inspire more women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering,and Maths (STEM)-related fields, with a focus on data science as an emerging field that is already feeling the need for specialised skills.
“As part of our commitment to contributing to skills development on the African continent, we have allocated five bursaries to women across Africa wishing to pursue careers in data science.With as much as 80% of all future jobs expected to be in STEM fields, it isessential that we invest now in the skills we will need to sustain Africa’s economicengine.”concludes Parker .