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The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa, a report issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), predicts that 44% of all work activities in Ethiopia are susceptible to automation, as are 46% in Nigeria, 52% in Kenya and 41% in South Africa. With this in mind, Siemens has handed over equipment specifically related to industrial automation that enables integrated engineering to a number of universities in order to help accelerate digitalisation skills.

Siemens donates equipment to help students

This donation, part of the company’s commitment to sustainable skills development across the continent, is valued at close to $400 000. Factory automation and electrical engineering equipment has been provided to 13 engineering faculties at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. These include Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana; Dar-Es-Salaam Institute of Technology, Tanzania; Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT), Kenya; as well as nine universities and colleges in South Africa.

“Our commitment to skills development and our relationships with these institutions goes beyond just this donation. We invest for the long-term and believe that by playing an active role in skills development, locally engineered solutions could catalyse the re-industrialisation of the economy and trigger growth on an unprecedented scale,” says Sabine Dall'Omo, CEO of Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

“In an African context, disruptive technology can be seen as an opportunity to leapfrog into the best and most advanced technologies, but this is only possible with access to the right training and equipment.”

She adds that Siemens will offer long-term support to the beneficiaries of these donations by ensuring that students are able to train on the most advanced technology available. “This will ensure graduates, and therefore the emerging workforce, have the skills necessary to effectively lead large-scale digitalisation across the continent, resulting in long-term benefits to economic growth.”

Data collected by WEF in key African markets shows employers across the region identify inadequately skilled workforces as a major constraint to their businesses, including 41% of all firms in Tanzania, 30% in Kenya, 9% in South Africa and 6% in Nigeria. This pattern may get worse in the future. In South Africa alone, 39% of core skills required across occupations will be wholly different by 2020.

“Convergence of man and machine intelligence will enable a new era of speed, flexibility, efficiency and connectivity in the 21st century. The conversation about man vs machine is not an either-or scenario. Ongoing education and training has a positive effect for both business and society. A strong pipeline of talent with the relevant skills and knowledge is beneficial to governments and businesses, while young people advance into jobs and careers with increased economic opportunity if they have the right skills,” Dall'Omo concludes.

Image credit: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/media/siemens-creates-opportunities-for-digitalization-skills-development-across-africa?lang=en?display=image

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