How digitally skilled are Africans post COVID-19

By Mercy George-Igbafe |   15 July 2020   |   2:03 am  

It is quite certain that the world will not remain the same post-Covid-19. This pandemic has exposed the urgency in the need to adopt digital technology and to explore available opportunities to digitally upskill.

The global spread of the virus has shown how connected we are,thanks to the boundless Internet connectivity and digital technology. Nonetheless, many have suffered great loss of people and business revenue. Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) warns that unemployment will rise to 33.5 per cent in 2021 from 2020 to 23.1 per cent. BBC has estimated 200 million people will lose their jobs due to the pandemic and the vulnerable countries with technical competence will be greatly impacted

The mandatory quarantine has forced many businesses to evolve into more remote working leveraging digital channels. Many Nigerians are confused, overwhelmed with the attempt to pivot their businesses products/services. Some of the overarching questions are – where do I start from, how do I start leveraging digital technology and what can I do to remain relevant with a sustainable business.

There are so many digital tools to leverage that are free and to name a few:
Organic Social Media Channel (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) This platforms are created to help push content for free to everyone from your convenience but it is imperative to learn ‘HOW’ to effectively utilise the channels.

Email Marketing (Emma, MailChimp, GetResponse, Marketo) Email is easily one of the most effective marketing channels to increase ROI.Video Hosting (Youtube, Wistia, Vimeo) Video is most consumed and is on track to take over 80 per cent of all web traffic by 2021, according to Cisco.

Content creation tools (Canva, Hootsuite,,) will create content that resonates with our audiences — infographics, blogs, videos Website Analytics (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Woopra, Kissmetrics). These tools help you keep an eye on customers insight and behaviours which informs your decision for ROI conversions.

Google Insight revealed the vast demand for digitally skilled employees’ in Agile Scrum, Digital Marketing, Project Management, Business Analysis, Data Analyst with the ‘Know-How’ to leverage digital channels to provide support to clients and services to the organisation hence the most profitable businesses even amid the pandemic are businesses with eCommerce platforms.

World Economic Forum (WEF) in a recent study revealed how unprepared Nations of the world with tremendous pressure on the healthcare system, the hospitality and tourism sector.

As a Nigeria entrepreneur, it is extremely tough and difficult if your businesses are not operating a digitally structured business with the required systems and digitally competent to support the small Businesses.

Limitations of digital technology in Nigeria and other African countries include
1. Poor infrastructural facilities such as lack of 24 hours of electricity, high property cost, poor health care and transportation, expensive and poor Internet connectivity.

• George-Igbafe, a digital entrepreneur, wrote from Lagos.

2.    The many living with the minimum wage of N30,000, an equivalent to $77.42 and in turn this influences the wide digital gap because many don’t have the earning power.
3.    Further, not all jobs can be done from home, which creates disparity. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 25 per cent of wage and salary workers worked from home at least occasionally from 2017 to 2018. Workers with college educations are at least five times more likely to have jobs that allow them to work from home compared with people with high school diplomas.

Nigeria and Africa need to urgently embrace digitisation to fast track the economic; integrating all channels to reduce the risk of infectious transference of Covid19 in most of our social and economic interactions and also to guard against future pandemic.

“Learning is not a one-time event or a periodic luxury. Great leaders in great companies recognize that the ability to constantly learn, innovate, and improve is vital to their success.” – Amy Edmondson

Sectors that will experience major growth post-covid are eCommerce and Robotic Deliveries (Drones), digital and contactless payments; remote working; distance learning; telehealth; online entertainment.

Since the pandemic and lockdown Learntor has trained 300 participants in Digital Marketing with specifics on ‘HOW’ to leverage social media channel effectively, promotion of their products while maintaining all the necessary guidelines. All that is required of the student was open-mindedness to unlearn, relearn and learn new digital skills. These are some of what businesses require to focus on in the pandemic and post-pandemic times.

Learntor like others is a digital consulting company specialising in Agile Scrum Transformation, Digital Marketing offering Digital Training, Mentoring, among others.

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