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.
“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,” said Mr Mboweni.
He said with the fast changes in technology, new skills – which are currently not being taught locally – were urgently required to address the current skills gap in key talent segments and to position organizations 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,” Mr Mboweni 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” said Mr Mboweni.
The term “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, first coined by World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Professor Klaus Martin Schwab, describes the phenomena in which disruptive new technologies are changing how people live and work.
A recent national skills audit report published by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education revealed skills deficits in some key sectors and disciplines in Zimbabwe.
The report said the country had a 93,5 percent skills deficit in engineering, a 88 percent deficit in agricultural skills and a 95 percent deficit in the medical and health science fields.
Mr Mboweni said the Econet group Innoversity would seek to bridge the skills gaps – both within its organization and outside, in the broader marketplace. It will play a key role in accelerating skills development in order to “future-proof” individuals’ skills the business-critical competences going into the future.
Speaking at the launch of the Econet Innoversity, the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer Mr Dennis Nyabadza said the Innoversity came 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 realization that in as much as our educational institutions are trying their best, in a fast-changing tech and digital-driven organization such as Econet, there was a compelling need to develop future skills now,” Mr Nyabadza 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,” he added.
Econet Talent and Organizational Development Head Mr Darlington Hukuimwe said the Innoversity will run certification programs 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.
Econet has long exposed its middle, senior and executive management to a wide range of effective management and leadership courses – including the globally acclaimed Success Motivation Institute (SMI) courses, for which it won the SMI World Client of The Year award last year.
Mr Hukuimwe 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 2, the Innoversity will offer these programmes and courses to institutions and individuals outside the Econet group,” he said.