The world faces a challenging future

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The President of Microsoft, Brad Smith has said that the world would be facing staggering challenges in providing jobs for people in need of them as over 250 million people were likely to lose their jobs this year, following the global coronavirus pandemic.

Brad Smith has, therefore urged people in every country affected by the pandemic to learn new skills to get jobs. They could also hang on to their old skills, as the digitization of economies races ahead.

Microsoft recently announced a plan to deliver skills and training to 25 million people globally this year. It will offer training, skills acquisition, certifications and help to find jobs. The company will do this with the help of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. But Mr. Smith also admitted that many jobs in many countries would be beyond the reach of digital retraining.

He said it is true that the nature of work varies widely around the world. Not all jobs can be digitized, particularly in the developing world. We live in a world of internet inequality and if we don’t do something about it we are going to evoke all the other inequalities that we all worry about. “This is a task beyond any one company or any one government but if we can reach 25 million people we will feel like we are doing our part.”

Microsoft will donate $20m (N9, 400,000,000) in grants to non-profit organizations on this programme on top of free use of their services. But many people are of the opinion that the offer is so small given the fact that Microsoft increased by $500bn in the past year.

Among members of the Imo State Business Link Magazine tribe, it is obvious that many businesses were negatively affected by the pandemic. But there are three ways members can try and get back on their feet. The most important is to make greater use of the tribe’s website to connect to those who could be interested in your type of business. You can search for them by clicking on Categories on the top of the website and making private contacts with them. You have their telephone numbers on their platforms. Another way is to get information on banks that grant loans to small and middle-size scale businesses and take a loan from tem to invest. As Microsoft boss pointed out, it might be necessary to change line of business, to learn a new skill that is internet friendly as most businesses are going digital after Covid 19. And a third option is to team up and start a new business. Two or three members of the network whose businesses were badly affected could team up and form a new company that will be more relevant to the needs of people after the coronavirus pandemic. With good understanding and a determination to succeed in the face of serious challenges, business will go on and we will survive to tell the story.

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