One of the biggest challenges being faced by many countries of the world, especially Africa, is poverty. It is therefore unsurprising that it is one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) to combat poverty for the United Nations.
But first, it is important to understand what poverty is. We must also point out that poverty in Africa is completely different from the Western and American context of poverty. Poverty in the developed world has to do with the access to opportunities. Opportunities that will help people and the community improve their standard of living.
The World Bank defines poverty as living on less than $1.90 a day, or about $700 per year, which puts 10 percent of the world’s population below the global poverty line.
According to the World Data Lab, poverty is concentrated in Africa. The largest number of people living in extreme poverty is in just two countries- Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo with 150 million people.
The numbers are not really looking good for the continent as projections from the World Data Lab estimate that nearly 80% of the countries unable to eliminate poverty by 2030 will be in Africa.
The problem of poverty especially on the continent is further worsened by rapid population growth on the continent. Currently, Africa has 1.36 billion inhabitants and by 2050, the population would have shut up to 2.5 billion people.
Compare the aforementioned to the rapidly declining population in the developed world. In this part of the world, they are battling a serious population decline as their share of the global total has significantly reduced by half over the last 60 years.
What this decline means is that the labour force of these developing countries would be affected. For example, today in many developed countries, there is a shortage of IT experts.
Ncube reports that in the USA alone, there are at this moment almost 500,000 software developer jobs on the market. It’s estimated that another 500,000 software developers will retire in the next few years.
That means that there will be a shortage of one million software developers in the USA. The estimate is that by 2021, there will be a shortage of 1.4 million software developers and only 400,000 software developer graduates. The employment of software developers is projected to grow 21 per cent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
To further worsen the situation, the number of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs are increasing quicker than the number of graduates in the US. For example, there will be 120,000 computing jobs compared to 40,000 graduates. This is a serious deficit.
As a social impact startup, we have different programmes or initiatives to tackle poverty, especially in Africa. There is ZartCyber itself, Zart Talent Foundation which is made up of Zart Academy, Zart Recruit and Zart Hub, and ZartCyber.
ZartCyber is leveraging the large pool of the African population to bridge the poverty gap on the continent. We bridge the poverty gap by connecting Senior IT experts in Africa with jobs in international companies. With this, they would be able to earn more money. Their per capita income will no doubt increase as well as their standard of living. This will have a ripple impact on family members specifically and the community generally.
With the Zart Talent Foundation, we are tackling poverty with Zart Academy, Zart Recruit and Zart Hub. Zart Academy is the educational arm of the Zart Talent Foundation. It was established to train African youths (15 to 22) with the requisite knowledge to thrive in the global IT industry. The goal is to successfully train at least 2000 students in the next five years. The goal is to train at least 50% of them to go on to find quality employment and the other half will successfully found and grow start-ups that will solve challenges in Africa and the world at large. Upon completion of the training, students will go ahead to ZartCyber for a one-year internship where they will gain practical experiences and work with foreign companies. Afterward, they will become Junior Developers, be able to earn more, and quickly exit poverty.
Zart Recruit is in charge of providing and matching top-notch African Tech Experts with International Opportunities. This offers them the chance to double their income and better their lives. Zart Hub is the home of the next generation of African innovators, solution finders, disruptors, revolutionaries, and history makers. Zart Hub is a tech business incubator that aims to support local African entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale their business to a world-class level. Meanwhile, for ZartCyber, we have a pool of Senior CyberSecurity Specialists from Africa who understand the offensive methodology of cyber threats and penetration routes to help keep our clients safe on the defensive side to avoid cyber attacks and risky cyber exposures. These African experts who join ZartCyber within a matter of years can work on projects, acquire relevant experiences and earn more money. With this, we are creating a diverse and inclusive community/world.