Structures in place to bridge digital skills gap – DreamOval CEO

  • urges financial institutions to tap into US$4bn training opportunity
  • foresees indigenous FinTechs attaining unicorn status soon

As the transition toward a more digital economy continues in earnest, with the resulting demand for certain skill sets in keeping with the transition growing accordingly, the nation is well placed to bridge the existing digital skills gap.

This is according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at DreamOval, Claud Kweku A. Hutchful, who says that the necessary structures required for the training of persons to meet the demand of the future of work are already in place.

With a study conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) indicating that in Ghana alone, over nine million jobs will require digital skills by 2030, translating to about 20 million training opportunities and nearly US$4 billion in revenue potential over the same timeframe, Mr. Hutchful has expressed optimism that the potential will be realised.

Speaking on the sidelines of the fifth edition of the B&FT’s quarterly Ghana’s Most Respected CEOs (GMRCEOs) Breakfast Series meeting on the theme ‘Business Adaptability and Sustainability in 2021: The Role and Impact of Finance and Technology,’ the DreamOval co-founder said platforms such as in-house programmes and technology hubs are providing the needed training in digital skills.

“Generally speaking there is a digital skill gap. However, this is being bridged by solutions such as one which we as a fintech run in-house as well as the rise of technology hubs which serve as incubation places for persons who want to develop the skills. There are many other solutions set to give us the requisite skills,” he said.

He added that to fully harness the potential of the digital economy, training should extend beyond the narrow spectrum of jobs specifically in mainstream technology-related fields to occupations in the wider economy.

“As we move to bridge this gap, we must not look narrowly at jobs in technology alone; we must train our marketers, communication experts, finance persons and perhaps even our psychologists in these digital skills, if we want to be competitive as a nation,” he said.

Citing access to finance as the biggest barrier to bridging of digital skills gap, he called for support from the financial sector to boost the nation’s competitiveness on the global scale.

Mr. Hutchful further stated that with factors such as relative political stability, a proactive regulator – the Bank of Ghana, best-in-class solutions provided by indigenous fintechs, as well as international partnerships and expansionary drives, it is a matter of when and not if, local fintechs reach the fabled US$1 billion dollar unicorn valuation.

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