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Challenges corporates in skills development

GAZETTE REPORTER

With over a generation of operating in the ICT industry, RPC Data is aiming at growing Botswana into an ICT hub. The homegrown company has been the flag bearer of the ICT industry in Botswana for the past 30 years.

RPC Data has been dubbed one of the few catalysts capable of transforming the local ICT industry and positively adding to the economy. “We are committed to developing the ICT market in Botswana and contribute to the economy. Strategically RPC Data is working on establishing a vibrant ICT industry that not only supports the local demand but together with the Government of Botswana makes the country an ICT hub exporting ICT services to the region,” said RPC Data Managing Director Komal V. Rao in an interview recently.

He emphasised creating ICT opportunities using local resources to add massive impetus to the economy. The ICT company specialises in services such as IT consulting, training, support, management, bespoke development and licence support. “Working with SMMEs was a recent strategic decision RPC Data took in order to find a sustainable diverse market. We have developed innovative methodologies of delivering complex solutions at exceptionally economical value that is taking the market by storm. These include implementing SAP Business One, Newgen ERDMS, Cloud Services and a few others at a fraction of the cost, bringing sophisticated solutions once reserved for the large firms to SMMEs,” said Rao.

Over the years, RPC Data, through its training and development programme, has been playing a major role in growing the country’s economy by training and equipping IT experts from both the private and public sectors. RPC Data has been offering specialised training in software for more than 12 years. Other than providing training on ERP products like Oracle EBS, RPC Data continues to critically focus on data-related technologies, including database commonly used for running online transaction processing (OLTP), online analytical processing (OLAP), and data warehousing (DW) workloads.

With levels of unemployment skyrocketing on a daily basis, RPC Data is playing a magnificent role in mentoring and ensuring that IT graduates get opportunities within the industry and grow their expertise. “An estimated 2 000 ICT graduates are capped every year, most of them remaining unemployed. Institutes heavily focus on knowledge-based learning with no emphasis on skills development and apprenticeship. At the same time, foreign companies (companies not local and operating from outside of Botswana) are not hiring these graduates upon winning tenders. We believe that local enterprises, together with the government, need to undertake a paradigm shift in the consumption of local supply of ICT services,” Rao said.
Over the past 30 years RPC Data has stretched its expertise to other African countries such as Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

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