One of the largest challenges facing the youth today is unemployment. Finding a job usually requires one to have a tonne of experience or know the right person in the right position of power. Some times it requires having the right skills for the job and this is where we have a challenge in Uganda; The lack of skills that are both employable and usable on their own. What we call practical skills.
Practical skills are important because they have a universal appeal, if you can fix a car, make a chair from a log or write, these are skills that can be used anywhere in the world and one can get a job with these skills in many places. However in a modern world that is being infiltrated by robotics, artificial intelligence and all sorts of technology, there has arisen a need for a new kind of skill set, The kind that powers technology, the skill of coding.
Writing code or programming is a skill that is fast becoming crucial around the world. Businesses are starting to incorporate technology into their business structures and processes for instance accounting systems, websites, market research systems and apps are all technologies being adopted by companies and organisations around the world today. All these a made of code. A report by a job market analytics firm in 2015 showed that there were 7 million jobs created in the US in 2015 that required a form of coding knowledge. The same report showed that coding related jobs rose by 12%. Now this is in the United states which is a saturated place Africa on the other hand is still virgin territory here and that creates the largest opportunity.
In order to achieve a middle income status by 2040, there is need to invest in preparing children for a world that is headed towards technology. This can be done by introducing them to coding so they can create, maintain and repair the technology that runs the factories, organisations and systems that will support life in the years to come.
Even in a country that is largely agricultural, there is need for better agricultural methods, powered by better agricultural technologies that are made of code. The spectrum of change that code can make is not limited to agriculture but spreads out to every industry. Technology is the future, if we are to make the most of it, coding is where we begin the implementation process.