Uganda: Rich in human resources?

On Saturday, Hannah Green, one of the Trustees of a little bit of HOPE and a PhD student at the University of East Anglia, went to the Pan-Africa Conference on youth leadership in Africa. In this week’s email she shares one of the many things that grabbed her attention.

Not only was the Vice-Prime Minister of Zimbabwe a dynamic public speaker, but something he said related directly to some of the thoughts we have been having as a charity. When we think of what Africa has to offer in terms of the economy we often talk about their natural resources. He argued however, that Africa’s wealth is not in its natural resources but in its human resources.

Today in Africa entrepreneurship is more important than cash, and creativity and talent are the most important assets. But in order to engage in this world of consumer services effectively, Africans must be able to engage in Information Communication Technology (ICT). Africa and Asia already have the highest saturation of mobile phones in the world and potentially ICT will soon (if not already) affect every industry. It is mostly the young people that will engage with these new technologies most effectively.

One of the things we have done as a charity is to send a local school teacher, Vincent, on a computer training course. He emailed us yesterday saying, “Thanks for the money. I started computer training this week…after every lesson I do a number of trial tests for perfection. It is very interesting and worthy to have computer skills. I shall extend the training to those who shall have an interest. But for learners at school I shall greatly encourage them to learn, so that computer skills are part of their world.”

Vincent will be bringing back his knowledge to his school in rural Uganda where he will begin training his students and members of the community in the basic computer knowledge. If what the Vice-Prime Minister of Zimbabwe said on Saturday is true then this could be vital in providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.