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Global soft skills expert roots for partnerships in IT sector

A global soft skills certification expert is rooting for the creation of strong partnerships between IT companies, business start-ups, industry and government agencies to expand the country’s ripe technology market.
PeopleCert Africa Business Development Manager, Romeo Mabasa is keen on Kenyan tech companies starting to groom the next pool of IT scientists from universities, pointing to a world now ready for local talent.
Speaking at a seminar for IT stakeholders in Nairobi yesterday, he gave an example of the Mpesa platform, which he said has already taken the world by storm, pointing out that with slight upgrades, it can monopolise the global mobile money banking business.
“However, to achieve this, we need to integrate universities as catalysts into business development programmes,” he said, asserting that he will not stop talking about integrating universities into these programmes.
The seminar brought together more than 20 companies and several IT students. Learnovate Technologies, a global training solution company hosted the half day meeting.
Mabasa explained that African kids are hungry to learn new ideas and to innovate them.
“It’s therefore very important that these programmes must include them,” he said.
From his LinkedIn profile, Mabasa is passionate about driving corporate Education development through technology. He has been part of the e-Learning Development project, Quality Assurance and Testing and even sold Education Software.
“Africa is in the global space, and important to leverage on what has worked in other countries to upgrade some of these products we are talking about,” he said.
Mabasa further said that Africa is educated and highly experienced but most of the continent’s skills are underutilised.
“Africa should start documenting her skills so that the outside world can come and buy them from us.
“Mpesa platform for instance, is one of the most innovative ideas that Kenya came up with even though there are others. But in terms of how now…it’s groundbreaking how they are able to transact,” he noted.
Mpesa, he noted, is now working hard to break into other countries. “The platform is robust, world tested and has gone to other countries and is now ready for world take off,” Mabasa added.
He advised the IT business developers to go to the university, and have the students start attending the training while they are at the university.
“What was once essentially just online communication now has multiple meanings, incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Who knows where this revolution will end? Simply this is Digital transformation, and the world is now ready for it,” he said.
However, for Kenya, Mabasa is crediting the government for being in the forefront advocating for digital economy and working together especially from the President’s office being key in championing for digital transformation.
He said this must challenge the private sector, or service providers to aggressively start working together with various government agencies to help them build capacity.
Vijay Kumar, the Managing Director Learnovate Technologies said collaboration is key, and therefore the need to create a linkage between academia and the job industry.
“Organizations need to speak to universities to know what to recalibrate because it influences the future which academia wouldn’t know how to teach if they don’t get feedback from the industries,” he said.
And subsequently, Kumar revealed that his company is supporting a few government initiatives through the ICT Authority’s digital programme. “This programme has actually been running for the last four years. We are also working with a few NGOs,” he said.
Mabasa also observed that when various models are integrated with government, industry, private, public and training providers like Learnovate, and bring on board universities, the outcomes will be tremendous.
“In other countries, universities are at the forefront in the digital transformation. Our children are ready to take the world by storm,” he asserted.

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