Africa is struggling to keep up with a global economy dominated by technology but African digital jobs are growing. Nigerian activist Oladiwura Oladepo co-founded the Tech4Dev organization to enrich the continent’s access to digital work opportunities.
Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative or Tech4dev is a nonprofit that originated in 2016 according to the Global Citizen site. Founded to solve the “world’s greatest problems,” the group provides access to the internet and computers in Africa and trains Africans in digital skills. This is especially vital in Oladepo’s home of Nigeria, where more than 100 million of the country’s 200 million population lack any digital services and many suffer from poverty, unemployment and starvation.
Tech4Dev offers numerous specialized educational programs to create African digital jobs for different demographics. One program listed on their website includes “Women Techsters,” which aims to increase economic equity between genders and financially empower women. The “Basic Digital Education Initiative” also aims to teach elementary and high school students technology skills as well as basic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills.
Another more-advanced program that Tech4Dev offers is the “Emerging Market Model Initiative.” The program emerged with the help of Microsoft to provide strong digital training to Nigerian adults through various government agencies. In addition to helping prospective learners, this program also equips said agencies with the ability to teach future groups of adults and increase overall digital literacy in the long term.
Although the programs have different target audiences, all of the programs have the same overall goal of teaching Africans online skills so they can find work and improve the lives of themselves and their communities. In Tech4Dev Executive Director Oladiwura Oladepo’s own words, this is “Using technology to advance sustainable human capital development in Africa.”
Technology and Economy Hand-in-Hand
The World Bank has stated that the digital economy is 15.5% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is a monetary measurement assigned to the overall goods and services that a country provides. With this number expected to increase as digitalization increases, African digital jobs in countries like Nigeria could produce significant capital gains.
As President Enrico Lores of HP Inc. stated on the World Economic Forum’s website, digital access factors into more than just job opportunities. With remote learning, no online access means not receiving an education. Online medical access can mean life or death. Even ignoring formal services, the internet can provide vital information similar to how Oladiwura Oladepo shared life-saving information on Ebola precautions in 2014.
About Global Citizen
In 2022, Oladiwura Oladepo received the 2022 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award from the Waislitz Foundation and the Global Citizen platform. Global Citizen defines a global citizen as someone who takes action to fight inequity and poverty across the whole world through collective action.
Oladepo acts as a global citizen by using Tech4Dev to support Nigeria and all of Africa by setting the groundwork for African digital jobs. Global citizens like her have raised more than $41.4 billion in funding and aided the impoverished in both developed and developing countries across the globe. The site lists 1,560,219 active global citizens dedicated to eliminating global poverty today.
– Henry Bauer
Photo: Wikipedia Commons