The market says that there is a skills gap as we slowly try to transition to a knowledge first economy that places a premium on technical skills to serve the data driven marketplace. There is no one currently with their finger on the pulse on the exact need since no hard data has been collected on the same.
The government on the other side of the spectrum has committed Ksh. 2.5 billion towards the construction of at least sixty technical institutes and has been running the flagship Uwezo Fund targeted at youth, women and persons with disability capitalized at Ksh. 6 billion and about 5.35 billion approved for disbursement for the current financial year.
Lots of activity can be observed but on closer analysis, feels more knee jerk than calculated, which requires a take two if to ensure we are not lost on the visions of utopia that we forget to scratch the actual itch and end up disenfranchised.
The skill requirements at the different levels of the technology ecosystem vary and it is therefore possible to meet both quality and quantity KPI targets. The first step is to however map out what that need is to ensure funding is directed appropriately and private sector support is marshaled effectively, as they too stand to gain from a capable workforce, from reduced overheads attributable to training and attrition that comes with corporate head hunting. The second is to also accurately establish the true form and dependencies of our ecosystem since technology is not limited to software, apps and things cloud. With these two figured out, interventions that deliver on short, medium and long term goals can be initiated.
On the software technology front where I am invested day to day, the analogy that best represents my thoughts both short and long term, is ant stomping versus elephant hunting. There will be a catalytic effect of a well-educated and well capitalized core group of technology entrepreneurs focused on different sectors of the economy. We will after all need to absorb all the talent that will be churned out, lest we return to ground zero with a well-educated but unemployed base.