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Stats from indicate that roughly 15-20 million young individuals from all over Africa will be entering the workforce for at least the next three decades. One of the biggest constraints to African businesses having the ability to compete with the global economy is a skills gap.

That being said, South Africa’s economic climate would have changed its need for core skills by as much as 39% by 2020, with about 41% of the jobs the country currently has on offer being susceptible to automation.

Millennials will have a massive demographic opportunity in Sub-Saharan terrain, but this opportunity can only be leveraged if the latent talent is unlocked and Africa’s people are trained and prepped for the workforce of tomorrow. South African job aggregator Adzuna found almost 10% of over 100,000 online vacancies to be specifically aimed at graduates and over 65% to those born between 1980 and 2000.

Is There Any Space for Complacency?

Well, according to a report from the World Economic Forum, there isn’t a lot of hope. Some African economies are still widely unexposed to disruptions in the labor market, but the same cannot be said for countries such as South Africa.

Fast Facts on Changes in the African Workforce

  • 44% of Ethiopian jobs, 46% of Nigerian jobs, and 52% of all jobs in Kenya are susceptible to automation.
  • 41% of businesses in Tanzania and 30% of businesses in Kenya admit that unqualified, undereducated, and unskilled workers will put the workforce under heavy constraint.
  • The ICT intensity of jobs in SA rose by 26% over a decade.
  • The Africa Skills Initiative aims to help educate and train young individuals in order to promote their skills. They aim to assist 1 million people by 2018 and have a 5-million benchmark for 2020.

In order to help the future generation prepare for entering the workforce of the future, they have to be educated with modern curricula: educational support that focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), is digitally-oriented, and that promotes ICT literacy. The workers of tomorrow have to be encouraged to undertake life-long learning, continuously training and upping their skill levels in order to keep up with the demands of the future workforce.

With the war on talent already in full swing due to a lack of supply, upskilling and retaining the workforce of tomorrow is arguably Africa’s biggest challenges. Despite this fact, many of Africa’s employers don’t think that their countries offer the education needed in order to prep the workers of the future for the demands of the global economy.

While it may seem like Africa has the skills required for the jobs of the future, it can only hold true to our current economic climate. The same cannot be said for the stats of 10 years into the future, nor can Africa’s overall workforce be compared to the capabilities and abilities of the global economy.

Final Thoughts

Job aggregator Adzuna also reported that some African countries are yet to be exposed to the problems that could disrupt jobs in the future (also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution). As far as reskilling and upskilling goes in order to secure that Africa has the skills needed for the jobs of the future, there really is no time left to waste.



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