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Ursula: Utilizing digital skills will solve Africa’s unemployment

Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said that African governments’ struggle to create enough white-collar jobs for their growing population presents a unique opportunity for individuals to become independent entrepreneurs through the acquisition of digital skills.

According to her, the traditional job market falls short in fulfilling the aspirations and potential of every young person which is why the cultivation of digital skills represents an “unparalleled opportunity” for the continent’s teeming unemployed youth.

“If we consider that, in the next 10-20 years, 50% of the world’s young people will reside in Africa, it becomes imperative to provide them with the tools they need to thrive in the rapidly unfolding Fourth Industrial Revolution. For me, digital skills are the key,” the lawmaker stated this during the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Morocco during a panel discussion on the topic: “Getting the foundation right for digital transformation”.

She further stressed “They can create their own jobs and engage actively working on the African continent and providing the human resources for the rest of the world, which is rapidly aging. So, it’s in our interest to provide the young people of Africa with the tools that they need today to provide the global world of work with the resources that they’ll need tomorrow. Any investment made in that direction cannot be wasted. And for me, digital skills, digital transformation, is the way to go.”

She indicated that, the current landscape, therefore, calls forward-thinking policies and concerted efforts to provide young people in Africa the necessary skills to be digitally savvy.

The Minister of Communication and Digitalisation also urged for increased collaboration to enhance digital inclusion, thereby unlocking the full potential for global digital economic growth.

“In Ghana, we’ve taken a deliberate attempt, we’re making deliberate attempts to include women, we have several programs from the high schools…the primary school level, right up to the working population to include them. We’ve taken our girls in ICT program to another level and they are actively encouraging young people, 9 to 16 years old, to explore the benefits of digital technology,” she noted.

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