The Digital Skills Shortage - Impact and Consequences

April 01, 2021

Research shows that the issue of digital skills and computer skills training is not just about the actual technology that people are using, but about the skills required for its use. The digital skills gap has led to low levels of digital inclusion among some groups, especially those on lower incomes.

Lower-income earners, such as the elderly, who have limited mobility are not receiving the same level of support as their wealthier counterparts when it comes to getting online and obtaining digital skills.

There is currently no one single solution to this problem, and there is a pressing need for employers to work with educational institutions and communities to educate, train and equip individuals to make the most of digital technology.

Digital financial inclusion and e-health are increasingly used by people for education and health, and we know that financial technology (fintech) solutions can support these development efforts.

Another area to look into is the impact of technology on jobs and the economy.

The last few years have seen enormous advances in the development of technology, and this is forcing job growth and automation at an unprecedented rate.

In addition to the traditional "skills-based" approach, there is a growing recognition that digital skills are a key pillar for achieving this.

These jobs are not only in the technology sector; there are also jobs in other industries that are undergoing digital transformation, such as telecommunications, health, insurance and education.

There is growing recognition that digital skills are a key pillar for achieving this.

For example, we have seen the potential impact of technology on health care, where a number of new technologies, including wearables, mobile apps, predictive analytics, big data and artificial intelligence (AI), have been adopted in order to enhance a patient's experience while also improving health outcomes.

Economic Development

Another area to focus on is economic development, particularly for the many low-income families in East Africa that are still trying to find their way into the formal economy.

According to a United Nations report, about 8.5 million Kenyans earn less than Sh10,000 per month. This means that they are not able to participate in the formal economy or be financially included.

Through technology, we can help to ease their burden of living on a low income by providing them with digital financial services.

Many of them live in rural areas, and traditional money transfer services may not be as accessible.

We are seeing the emergence of digital financial service providers that are focusing on consumers in these remote areas.

We must continue to look for opportunities to expand financial services across the region to improve financial inclusion and accelerate the speed of financial inclusion for the poor.

Written by Shingai Munyuki Founder of Onai Intelligence & Less Academy


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