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Landscape Scan on Tech-Enabled Skilling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Feb 26, 2024 | Research

By Manan Sharma

Tech-Enabled Skilling Platforms have emerged as crucial digital sources of knowledge within the platform economy. Driven by factors like COVID-19, generational shifts, and tech advancements, professionals now face the need to adapt to hybrid work environments, collaborate through digital means, and most importantly – continuously upskill themselves – which is where these platforms come into play.

Our landscape scan on Tech Enabled Skilling identifies five sub-segments within tech-enabled skilling platforms, including course-based learning, on-demand learning, tech-enabled apprenticeships, professional networking, and assessment/credentialing platforms (taxonomy appended below) and explores prominent start-ups (e.g., Moringa for Course Based learning / e-learning, Arifu for on-demand learning, etc.) across sub-segments.

Tech-Enabled Skilling Taxonomy

Course / guided / cohort-based learningEdtech platforms on work topics, where students participate in a guided learning experience (may have some offline component)
On-demand / self-paced learningEdtech platforms where learners can engage in content at their own pace (channels could include SMS, video, gamified)
Digital apprenticeships / Mentorship / internshipsPlatforms which facilitate digital apprenticeships/internships, or connect people to mentors
Professional networking / labour market information platformsSocial network or informational platforms focused on the world of work
Assessment / credentiallingPlatforms which provide professional vetting or credentialing to enhance employability of users

We also delve into the business models prevalent in this sector, ranging from direct payments by learners (B2C) to corporate-sponsored training (B2B), government-backed initiatives (B2G), and donor-funded programs. The common challenge across these models is determining ‘who pays,’ shaping the sector’s scalability, with B2B and donor-funded models being more prominent in the African context.

While such platforms grapple with challenges such as inclusivity, internet access, etc. posing hindrances to wide-scale digital learning, there is still immense opportunity for growth, especially on the back of innovative models such as platform-based skilling, in collaboration with other platforms.

For a more in-depth understanding of Tech-Enabled Skilling in Sub-Saharan Africa, you can access our landscape scan here.  

A short version of this Landscape Scan is also available as a video-based e-learning course on the VC4A website here

The Author, Manan Sharma, is a Venture Building Extern at the Jobtech Alliance


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