Stakeholders call for improved investment in tech-hubs
Experts in the tech ecosystem have called for more investment in tech-hubs to create more employment opportunities and foster economic growth.
The experts also said that it is imperative for tech-hubs to be upgraded to tertiary institutions so as to meet up with demand as the world continues to evolve, increasing the need for tech talents.
They made the call at Devthon 1.0, which doubled as a workshop and graduation ceremony of 52 members of Cohort three, organised by The Bulb Africa, an African tech talent incubator, in Lagos.
Co-founder, The bulb Africa, Wande Adams, speaking on why Information Technology (IT) firms are constantly hiring, said it is due to the shortage of supply, which puts employees in high demand especially when one works with a quality organisation.
“Europe has 6.6 million developers, America has 6 million and these numbers are short of what is needed and Africa has 700,000, which is way below demand.
“Employers need to understand that there is shortage of supply and quality workers are in high demand. Right now it’s the talents’ market. It’s not the employers’ market anymore, which means that employers need to start creating more perks to keep their staff. Start Ups are beginning to look at employee’s stock option as one way to keep their staff,” he added.
According to him, organisations should be people-centric as a way to retain IT talents and when people decide to leave, organisations should support them.
Adams also said that the firm is committed to empowering talents with adequate soft and hard skills in tech to meet world standards coupled with solving the dipping unemployment rate in Africa.
Co-Managing Partner, Commercio Partners, Tosin Osunkoya, emphasised the need for both government and private institutions to see investment in human capital as a long-term investment that will yield great returns.
Stressing the need to churn out more tech talents, he urged government to create enabling environment and private companies to engage with equipping people with technological skills as their Community Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, which would result in the growth of GDP.
“Nigeria is largely dependent on trade and services which sits on the back of technology, if you invest in people that will drive this, then the ripple effect will be enormous,” he said.
He said there was a time when people celebrated commodities, but now Intellectual Property (IT) is the new wealth.
Speaking to the graduands, Osunkoya, who is also the Co-Founder, The Bulb Africa, stressed on the need to sharpen soft skills as well as hard skills to suit the world of work.
The cohort programme is an IT training programme that runs for six weeks after which the company aids participants in getting jobs.
The founders highlighted the impact of Pledges Inc, a San Francisco charity organisation. Pledges provided The Bulb Institute funds as a career training bond for intending applicants who do not have the appropriate funds needed to pay Fellowship’s tuition.