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May 10, 2018

ICT skills development for today’s digital economy and knowledge society

By Dr. Cosmas L. Zavazava, Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department, BDT, ITU

In today’s digital economy, the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, applications and services is growing at an alarming rate. Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and robotics are increasingly being introduced.

As a result, there is need for new knowledge and skills. Support to countries and industry in their efforts to match current skills with the new jobs created, as a result of the rapid technological developments, has become a priority.

Furthermore, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states continue to be faced with connectivity constraints that hinder the delivery of the much-needed ICT training in the desired quality as and when it is needed.

These connectivity constraints also result from limited or lack of human and financial resources, and the absence of a conducive policy environment to support digital skills development.

“In view of the importance of digital skills in this era, it is not surprising that the development and strengthening of such skills is an important objective in the work of ITU.”

To address these challenges and propose solutions, ITU provides opportunities for its member states to exchange knowledge and engage in policy debates through regional forums and global symposia such as the upcoming Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium (CBS-2018).

These engagements are becoming a necessary incubator for supportive policies at national level.  They represent a great opportunity to meet key stakeholders and experts working in the field of emerging technologies and human skills development.

Discussions will focus on how digital transformation, including artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data analytics change skills requirements for the digital economy and society, and, in turn, impact capacity building and skills development.

For information on the last Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium see CBS-2016.

RELATED: Why ICTs are critical for sustainable development

In view of the importance of digital skills in this era, it is not surprising that the development and strengthening of such skills is an important objective in the work of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

In seeking to achieve this goal, ITU uses a multi-stakeholder approach that involves governments, private sector, academia, and research institutions to design and develop peer-reviewed ICT training materials, delivers the training through both online and face-to-face workshops and symposia, as well as through an established centres of excellence network, and provides the ITU Academy platform to the ITU membership and partners to use in the delivery of the much needed skills.

ITU also uses the ITU Academy platform to delivers courses up to Master’s degree level to thousands of students across the globe.

CBS-2018 will take place from 18 to 20 June 2018 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Dr. Cosmas L. Zavazava, Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department, BDT, ITU

 

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ICT skills development for today's digital economy and knowledge society

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