Zwart Talent Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that bridges the growing tech talent gap, has called on governments across Africa to tackle poverty on the continent with tech education.
The Foundation which was recently launched made this call through its Chairman, Nelson Tosin Ajulo at a recent roundtable with IT experts, policymakers and tech enthusiasts.
Ajulo said in his address: “Poverty is a problem across the world. It is not peculiar to only Africa. Regardless, the developed world has made us believe that Africa is the poverty capital of the world. This is not true. Despite this, we have to find quick and practical solutions to combat endemic poverty on the continent.”
“We strongly believe that the right type of education can lift millions of underserved Africans out of Poverty. Today, the right kind of education is IT or tech education. This is because of the worldwide shift to the digital economy. The kinds of jobs out there have changed.”
“Global companies are looking for software experts, coders, UX UI designers, and system analysts among others. If we deploy efforts into training youths in tech education, they are guaranteed to get both local and international jobs to earn more and eventually take their families and communities out of poverty.”
The World Bank reports in its recently published Poverty and Shared Prosperity report 2020 that the concentration of high poverty rates in Sub-Saharan Africa recalls the image of a poverty belt extending from Senegal to Ethiopia and from Mali to Madagascar. Half of the countries in SSA have poverty rates higher than 35%.
The Bank adds that these numbers become even more alarming when compared with the levels of extreme poverty in other regions. Of the top 20 economies with poverty rates estimates, 18 are in SSA.
On what Zwarttalent is doing to tackle poverty, the Chairman says that it is training the vulnerable and young African population in IT skills to enable them to boost their economic status.
“At Zwart Talent Foundation, our social innovation is that we train underserved youths in IT skills for free and within two years, they become junior developers and start earning.’
“Our solution is quick, effective and not time-consuming compared to the typical education we are all familiar with.”
“With this, we can get thousands out of poverty. But we can’t do this alone. We need every support we can get because with African population growing at a geometric rate, it will get to a point where the typical education cannot suffice and there would be serious competition for the limited resources.”