The Future – Digital Solutions
Even as IT, robotics and automation shred traditional jobs, new technologies are opening up massive opportunities for decent job and livelihood creation for youth everywhere. E-lancing, netpreneurship, mobile money and mobile apps enable tens of thousands of young people to get productive work wherever they live.
It is not uncommon for a small business in Chicago to get its logo designed by a young designer in the Philippines. That trend will continue and should be a target for investment. Still, many youth beg donors not to be dazzled by flashy IT projects at the expense of mainstream, hard-slog bottom-of-the-pyramid job creation. Especially in rural areas, young people struggle to get access to enough electricity to charge their mobile phone, let alone access to a laptop. Policymakers need to make digital investments alongside investments in other fields.
The Rockefeller Foundation is pioneering innovative work in the field of “impact outsourcing” in its Digital Jobs Africa programme – a six-year, US$100 million programme to impact 1 million youth in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. Using information technology, it seeks to inform youth about employment opportunities and deliver skills training to Africans living at considerable disadvantage to generate social and economic opportunities.
Microsoft 4Afrika focuses on three areas:
- World-class skills: Microsoft plans to develop a self-sustaining, world-class education platform, both online and offline, to help Africans develop skills for entrepreneurship and improve their employability and competitiveness. To that end, it has established the Afrika Academy, a unique way for students to learn and interact online with experts from across the African continent.
- Access: Provide affordable access to technology, particularly cloud services and smart devices that can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness. The 4Afrika Initiative intends to help provide affordable access to smart Windows devices, including PCs, slates and phones for young Africans.
- Innovation – Microsoft wants to help ignite African innovation for the continent and for the world. It is committed to working closely with African ISVs and developers to accelerate the development of highly relevant apps – by Africans, for Africa. It is investing in developers to enable them to get access to the technology, mentorship, connections, and go-to-market support they need to thrive.
G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, Berlin: Linking to the Hamburg G20 Leaders Summit, G20 YEA has decided to focus its 2017 summit on ‘Digital Trends for Future Business’. Five-hundred young entrepreneurs will gather for a meeting that focuses on emerging trends including the Internet of Things, Big Data, Digital Platforms, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The summit shines a spotlight on the fast-moving and immensely job-rich future that lies in digital technologies.