[AfrICANN-discuss] The state of IT skills in Africa

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Tue Aug 30 13:53:05 SAST 2011

The state of IT skills in Africa


The IDG Connect recently did a study on the state of IT Skills worldwide,
and a number of interesting facts have come to light regarding Africa. The
study was based on the survey of 3169 IT professionals from 105 countries.

If the IT skills shortage is as much of a problem as many people believe, it
will have a real impact on the future global economy (image: stock.xchng)

“The striking thing about these results is that most people surveyed do not
appear to believe there is an IT skills shortage. Although across the globe
the majority of those who took part stated that senior technical skills were
most lacking from the market place,” said Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG
Connect International.

To the question of how many IT vacancies are open in Africa, 40% of the
professionals believed that there is a medium volume of vacancies available.
This is compared to about 15% who believed there is a high volume of
vacancies open, while 30% said that there very few vacancies available.

Through the study it was revealed that the majority of the participants felt
that senior technical skills were missing from the market. A high percentage
(almost 80%) said Africa needs more senior personnel, while just over 30%
suggested a need for business or entry level staff.

The majority of people surveyed across all the regions also believed the
economy was a big reason for any IT employment problems. While North America
ranked the highest in blaming the economy (over 80%), only 70% of the
African felt that the economy was to blame. Just over 20% said the African
economy didn’t play a role.

But Africa and South America ranked the highest when it can to IT training,
with about 65% of the people believing that poor IT training as a major
problem in terms of IT employment. Although a high number suggested poor
training, the general feeling about the industry’s growth was on the

Of those surveyed, a vast majority felt that the lack of interest in IT
careers was not an issue in Africa. Just fewer than 30% said that it was
indeed a problem, while about 5% had no opinion on the matter.

Although the majority of people surveyed stated that the lack of interest in
IT careers was not an issue, 68.75% of Africans, 62.96% of South Americans
and 58.15% of Asians believed the best IT talent moves abroad, compared to
14.15% of North Americans surveyed. “Compensations and benefits do not
reflect the hardship in the country causing flight of skills to other
countries,” commented a business manager from Nigeria.

When asked what they thought were the reasons for any IT employment problems
in their area, Africa once again ranked the highest, with 71% saying entry
level workers have a different work ethic to older employees.

Although the study revealed some interesting trends and movements, Cave
added that it only provides a small snap-shot of the reality. “No research
is ever fully representative and the majority of those who took part in this
survey held senior IT roles, and had been in their jobs for over two years.
In addition to this more than half across all regions did not have plans to
change job any time soon. This statistic was highest in North America where
an overwhelming 78.68% intended to stay put.”
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