While there are numerous ways to study and enhance our skills these days, I believe webinars or conferences are one of the finest. They provide not only a unique learning experience but also major career-building opportunities that we may not be able to obtain elsewhere. The second edition of the African Digital Skills Conference (ADSC), brought participants and facilitators from all around Africa, as well as from other parts of the world together in such conference. The three-day program made possible by the combined efforts of various organizations including the Digital Skills Accelerator (DSAA), gave me the privilege to deliver a session on “Hosting a Static Website on a Free Hosting Site.”
My name is Emmanuel Mingle, and I’m a Developer with enormous experience in software development, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. In the near future, I hope to work as a cloud security expert, and I am working toward that goal each day.
Digital skills are the new job market highlight, and it would be an understatement to say that they are critical given the rapid advancement and evolution of technology in almost every sphere of our lives. Therefore, at any time, individuals and organizations must provide opportunities for youth and the next generation to learn and upskill in ways that will enable them to easily take on roles and jobs in the emerging Digital Economy. Thus, a platform like the ADSC is a commendable initiative and a step in the right direction. Even though the ADSC has had several successes since its first edition, what impresses me is that the ongoing efforts of its partners and sponsors ensured that the second edition of the program brought together and trained participants from all over Africa, including undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and industry players, all of whom were interested in learning how to apply cutting-edge digital skills to the problems they care about. I believe that this is truly an initiative that I wish could last for many years to come and I hope that its impact will be felt soon.
Partnerships and collaborations between organizations such as ADSC, trainers, and DSAA have numerous advantages. For example, while an organized program with only one or few trainers can make an impact on its own, bringing together numerous sponsors, trainers, and participants creates a multiplier effect that extends the reach of a campaign. Each partner organization for instance has an opportunity to draft members with a variety of skills to take on various sessions of the program in which they have expertise, thereby diversifying the skill sets available to participants. Moreover, while this provides a one-time multiplier effect across all the individual engagements, there is also a space to contribute from a diversified pool of partner organizations’ strengths. Another benefit I would mention is, the program has provided the majority of us with a new way to give back to our community on a broader scale, especially because the event did not just come to end after the initial three days’ time slot, as participants still do have unlimited access to all of the recordings of the trainings made possible by the numerous partner organizations.
One of the most valuable components of any conference presentation is the opportunity to advocate for your research. As scientists, we must be able to share our research findings with people outside our specific discipline to increase the visibility of our work and provide more information to those who are interested. During the program, ADSC afforded me and my co-facilitators the opportunity to represent our field of interest, which I’m convinced will in the long run allow researchers from other disciplines, policymakers, and the public to become aware of the cutting-edge research being conducted on the topic.
Most importantly, the program allowed me to meet and learn from other facilitators who use similar approaches and methods. In the future, I hope to see organizations like DSAA partnering and sponsoring more projects like this to reach out to more people and engage a broader audience, so that everyone can benefit from Digital Skills programs, not just those who are enrolled in specialized programs.
About the Guest Author:
Emmanuel Mingle is a tech enthusiast keen on Cloud Technologies (Aviatrix, AWS, Azure, Oracle), Cyber Security and Software Development (PHP and Python). He believes in changing the world one problem at a time and chooses to start with educating the next generation. You can find him impacting the younger generation with Ghana Code Club and Azubi Africa, a training program led by DSAA member company getINNOtized.