Econet Wireless has launched the Econet Group Innoversity, a virtual learning academy designed to develop critical skills in the digital age.
“Today I am excited to launch the Econet Innoversity, a learning academy that we will use to develop and deliver skills of the future in line with our business strategy,” said Econet CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni at the launch of the academy in Harare recently.
“This will be a vehicle for developing requisite mission-critical skills that are imperative for us to not only survive, but thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Mr Mboweni said with the fast changes in technology, new skills – which are currently not being taught locally – were urgently required to address the skills supply gap in key talent segments and to position organisations to compete for the future.
“For us at Econet our people are the foundation of our success; they are our main source of competitive advantage and are the key drivers of innovation and business resilience,” he said.
“It is, therefore, critical for our continued success, that we retrain them and equip them with fourth industrial revolution skills through the world-class certification programmes the Econet Innoversity will offer.”
A recent national skills audit report published by the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry revealed skills deficits in some key sectors and disciplines in Zimbabwe.
The report said the country had a 93,5% skills deficit in engineering, a 88% deficit in agricultural skills and a 95% deficit in the medical and health science fields.
Mboweni said the Innoversity would seek to bridge the skills gaps both within its organisation and outside, in the broader marketplace. It will play a key role in accelerating skills development in order to “future-proof” individuals’ skills with the business-critical competences going into the future.
Speaking at the launch, the company’s chief human resources officer Mr Dennis Nyabadza said the Innoversity had come at a time the nation was battling a skills deficit, and would play an important skills-bridging role.
“We have taken the lead in launching the Econet Innoversity in order to future-proof our business’ talent requirements out of a realisation that in as much as our educational
institutions are trying their best, in a fast-changing tech and digital-driven organisation such as Econet, there is a compelling need to develop future skills now,” he said.
Stressing relevancy, he said the Innoversity would harness new technologies to increase business output and enable quick and accurate decision-making while offering skills that translate into relevant products and services.
“Through the Econet Innoversity, we will strategically harness emerging technologies to deliver new skills and at the same time unlock deep business and customer insights to deliver relevant and unparalleled customer experience,” Mr Nyabadza said.
Econet’s talent and organisational development head Mr Darlington Hukuimwe said the Innoversity would run certification programmes in a variety of courses.
“We will be offering online, face-to-face and project-based certified courses in several new areas that include big data and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, robotics, augmented reality (AR), IoT (the internet of things), block chain, cyber security and digital customer experience, among others,” he said.
Mr Hukuimwe said the learning academy would also offer new and senior management development courses, including coaching and mentorship-based learning.
He said in the first phase, the Innoversity would focus on talent and skills development among staff within the Econet group.
“But in less than two years, in phase two, the Innoversity will offer these programmes and courses to institutions and individuals outside the Econet group,” Mr Hukuimwe said.