Why capacity building in digital skills are important for professionals in Africa by Emmanuel Otori


BY EMMANUEL OTORI, JULY 23, 2022 | 10:55 AM

Capacity building is the improvement in an individual’s or organization’s facility to produce, perform or deploy. According to the United Nation, Capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities processes and resources that organization and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in a fast-changing world. Skill development and training are needed around the world, many people are deprived of capacities and skills crucial to digital era. Digital capacity building must be more needs-driven and tailored to individual and national circumstances and better coordinated globally.

According to the 2017 Global Innovation Index, several African Countries have been classified as’ ’Innovation Achievers’’ in the Continent including Kenya, Uganda and Senegal. Yet, many African Nations are not able to fully benefit from global advancement in technology. However, in today’s world, technology plays an increasingly important role in the economy and society as a whole. Digital skills can help you increase your employability prospects, advance your career and make the most of modern technology. UNESCO defines digital skills as the ability to use digital devices, community applications and networks to access and manage information. Digital skills may give you an advantage in specific technical careers such as marketing, design, development and data science. Capacity building in digital skills is strengthening digital capacities and skills to meet the demands of digital world skill development and training. So, capacity building in digital skills is to adopt and develop new practices with digital technology in order to be able to analyze and develop a critical perspective on content and underlying systems, services and network.

Acquiring digital skills is very important as the world is a fast-evolving digital world. Current technologies are being replaced by more advanced ones increasingly rapidly, so having a strong digital skillset, feeling confident in your own capabilities to navigate through a constantly changing digital environment, will be very important for future employment.

I strongly believe that building or owning a digital skill set will contribute or help to:

· To adapt the right digital devices, applications, software and systems.

· Find, review, organize and share information effectively

· Handle data appropriately and establish good data security practices.

· Be able to communicate and collaborate in digital setting.

· Use different online resources and tools to help study remotely and engage effectively with your learning

· Understand how to protect yourself, other colleagues, to stay safe in digital environment.

Conclusively, digital capabilities as the skills knowledge and understanding which help someone to live, learn and work in a digital society, help us to use variety of technologies, appropriately and effectively in different spaces, places and situations. Not only do digital capabilities help to engage and communicate with other people in your personal life or whilst you to learn, they help you to succeed in the world of work. Employers are increasingly looking at what digital capabilities applicants and employees have. Skills in creating documents, presentations, spreadsheet and communicating via email and social media are areas which are important to most organizations. They want people to use technology to access information, be creative, innovative, solve problems, communicate, participate, learn and support others in digital spaces. Building and developing digital capabilities will definitely help to become better prepared and relevant for increasingly digital world.

Emmanuel Otori has over 9 years of experience working with 100 start-ups and SMEs across Nigeria. He has worked on the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project of the World Bank, GiZ, Consulted for businesses at the Abuja Enterprise Agency, Novustack, Splitspot and NITDA.

He is the Chief Executive Officer at Abuja Data School.

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