Microsoft beats Amazon in a $10B pentagon JEDI tender. Why is this important for Lesotho?

Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

First of all, when I hear news of Tech companies in the US competing, all I hear is an opportunity for talent. It is not a secret that the US is suffering from a huge tech talent shortage and with the 4IR here the talent gap has widened.

We now have Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT and Data Science to think about and millions of applications that can be built on 4IR technologies to solve customer needs and wants in different sectors and industries across the world.

When one of the strongest governments in the world makes a shift this big it can only mean one thing – JOBS. The demand for talent will increase and Microsoft being the winner of this tender will need to make hires.

First it will look within its already existing pool and make promotions, then it will poach talent from other tech giants and cause vacancies that will force the competitors to promote within or poach from smaller startups. Either way, a ripple effect of job opportunities will be seen.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in 2020 there will be 1.4 million more software development jobs than applicants who can fill them. This is just software development. What about product development, UI/UX, project management and the other job opportunities connected to software development?

Lesotho has a population of 2 million. If all two million of us had digital skills we could, in theory, apply for the 1.4 million jobs and spread the remaining 600k to other parts of the world. Our National education strategy must be focused, we must produce digital talents.

Dear parents, the government will take forever to consider this. Discuss it and roll it out. It is your responsibility to invest in your child’s future. If your child is not interacting with technology, chances are they are already economically disadvantaged.

Make sure your kids in primary schools are learning computer literacy. High schoolers, make sure you are learning STEM. Varsity students know at least one programming language, just one. Graduates make sure you spent 10 000 hours on Udacity or Udemy or Youtube learning anything Tech related and pile up those Online Certificates. 

Entrepreneurs my favorites, chances are you are the first group to read this post and the people I am writing to have different interests. There is a massive skills gap in the world.

The traditional school system has failed to keep up with technology. School as we know it is dead. It’s not just a Lesotho thing it is a global thing. Schools aren’t innovating quick enough to keep up with technology and as a result, they are being left behind.

Lesotho has a serious problem with teachers protesting and schools closing down and the students being the victims. Our government is clearly not equipped with enough resources to respond quickly enough to the needs of its people let alone the threats of rapid digital development. ‘Muso o tla lula o thiba ka mona le ka mane so we cannot look to them for answers or solutions.

So it is up to us to think outside the box. It is up to us disrupt the norms. Do not be afraid of disrupting the old elephants resistant to change. Come up with products that will polarize Basotho if need be, great products always do.

If banking as we know it must die, let it die and let mobile money reign. If bankers will lose their jobs then let it be so. Hopefully, they saved enough to survive the transition.

Those of you who will be affected by disruption, do not take things personally. Times change and so must we. Technology will disrupt some businesses and jobs will be lost but new types of jobs will be created and new opportunities will be discovered.

Batsoali ba rona, opportunities are scarce we cannot compete for government positions with you. If you are born before technology know this, you are the reason service delivery is slow.

If you cannot google which software can quicken your services then you are the problem. It’s not your fault that you are, you just are. The question is, what are you doing about it. 

If we as Basotho don’t make a collective decision to embrace technology to survive, then we will continue to suffer economically and Those who agree with me will leave the country for their own sanity and survival, I read somewhere that Canada is looking for Immigrants.

If you’re a young graduate, been unemployed for more than 3 years, know that there is space for you in the world. Stop wasting your time watching TV, turning up and all that nonsense, buy data which by the way is really expensive I know. We can’t have a high unemployment rate, a high literacy rate and high data rates. The only barrier to access the internet is cost and that needs to change, anyway, buy data and learn how to code, design in photoshop, or just google skills one needs to have in the 21st century and go for them.

All shifts create opportunities. The US government is shifting to tech, other governments will follow, businesses too. Everyone is shifting, even crime is shifting, even religion is shifting, If your church is not collecting offering/tithe via internet or mobile then its an old church. Africa is the most religious continent in the world, imagine if the church went digital. Youth Pastors your role in the church is big is unique, the church doesn’t have a manual on how to engage millennials, you must find a way to use technology to engage them

Congratulations to Basali Tech, Selibeng and Technify with the support of Vodacom, Facebook and other sponsors for hosting the first ever Technology conference in Lesotho. Going digital starts with households.

Bo mme ke lona baetapele ba malapa nkang boikarabelo ba ho kenya technology malapeng a lona, qalang ka ho reka WIFI e ngata, le patalle Internet joalo ka motlakase shebang na ke eng e le ka e tlohellang ho etsetsa WIFI sebaka malapeng a lona.

By the way, there’s no way Microsoft can beat Amazon in Cloud, AWS is the leader in Cloud so I was really surprised, I thought Bezos had this one in the bag. But I guess not, follow the rest of the story here.

Khotso, Pula, Nala ( Peace, Rain, and Prosperity).


Co-founder of Technify we digitize organizations, people and homes. Entrepreneur-in-training at Mest Africa (Ghana), Mandela Washington 2019 Alumni, Design thinking practitioner certified by IBM, a startup consultant, I charge $1 per minute. I advocate for digital Inclusion. I advocate for tech startups over SME's. I believe in solving the world's problems over Lesotho's. I don't believe in competing for Lesotho's market because it's too small for VC's, consumer culture is offline and the tech ecosystem is behind.