The drive towards automation in Africa may not actually be good news for 70 percent or more of its population. Despite the huge potentials ranging from the transformation of business processes to speedy and efficient ways, history suggests that technology transfer without adequate preparation of the immaterial component of culture could be disastrous.
People resist change if it threatens preexisting conditions that suits their greed and fosters their beliefs. They just don't know what tomorrow brings as a result of automation of businesses. Indeed, there are concerns on a global scale, yet given the high level of illiteracy in many parts of Africa, skyrocketing population increase among others, there's really much to worry about.
Unemployment resulting from AI could once again lead to social/political tensions and just as we're witnessing the rise of populist renaissance in Europe, fierce battles may topple governments that pursue automation without a human appeal on the continent in decades to come.
Automation, robots and globalization are rapidly changing the workplace and governments must act fast and decisively to counter the effects or face a worsening of social and economic tensions, the OECD warned.
Almost half of all jobs could be wiped out or radically altered in the next two decades due to automation, the Paris-based group said in a report published in April 2019. According to OECD Labor Director Stefano Scarpetta, the pace of change will be “startling.”
Safety nets and training systems built up over decades to protect workers are crumbling and finding it extremely hard to keep up with the “megatrends” changing the nature of work, the OECD said. While some workers will benefit as technology opens new markets and increases productivity, young, low-skilled, part-time and gig-economy workers are vulnerable.
The small and medium scale enterprise is budding, yeti six out of ten workers lack basic IT skills. Trade Unions, which once served as the protective organ of the proletarians against the capitalist class, are gradually losing their voice. The bottom line is that we could have thriving economies which lay basically on people's poverty.
Header Image Credit: BBC