A number of institutions are involved in Education and Training of human resources in ICT programmes ranging from Certificate to Degree courses offering specialised subjects including Computer Science, Telecommunicaztions/Electronics Engineering, Media training/information sciences, Vocational ICT programmes and skills development. Among the Institutions involved in human resource development in ICTs are the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, ZAMCOM, ZAMTEL Staff Training College and Evelyn Hone College. A number of other public and private sector institutions offer various ICT related courses.
Other programmes include Industry Certified (Microsoft, CISCO etc) course and others based on foreign syllabi such as Institute for Management of Information Systems (IMIS) and City & Guilds of the UK. However, the compatibility of such programmes with the Zambian education curriculum and industry is very limited. Therefore, an assessment of the
requirements and local institutional capabilities shall form the basis for a comprehensive human resource development programme in the country.
Despite the above scenario, Zambia is currently facing a shortfall in critical ICT skills required for developing its information and knowledge economy at managerial, professional and technician levels in order to facilitate the development, deployment and application of ICTs in both the private and the public sector.
Some of the challenges to be addressed include:-
- Law ICT literacy in the country, which is a major obstacle to the development of Zambias information society;
- High cost of technology acquisition, thus making ICT technology and skill development programmes inaccessible to most Zambians;
- The Brain Drain problem, which is resulting in considerable loss of the few skilled personnel from Zambia to other countries in search of better job opportunities;
- Limited local ICT industry thus offering inadequate services and few job opportunities;
- Lack of standardisation and certification programmes in the IT field resulting in external courses with little localisation to the Zambian education curriculum;
- Inadequate institutional capacity among formal training providers to increase intake and output numbers of ICT graduates.