Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2017

Africa bracing for Fourth Industrial Revolution

Fourth Industrial Revolutionby SAVIOUS KWINIKA
Editor
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AS the fear of losing jobs to machines becomes a reality, it is imperative for stakeholders to ensure Africa’s youth population, frustrated by severe joblessness, is equipped with the skills to compete in an increasingly technological world.
The revolution of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is posing a quandary in that robots will replace some jobs but it will also pave the way for more jobs – based on technological innovation.
Low-skilled jobs are at the most risk of extinction.
Huawei Technologies, the Chinese global company with a presence in all 54 African countries, is focusing on a cloud strategy, which is the foundation for AI, the company said.
“Huawei is focused on increasing connectivity and building a cloud platform for Africa. These are the building blocks for the realisation of AI applications,” it said.
While AI and the internet of things (IoT), which is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects enabling them to send and receive data, are in their early stages in Africa, companies have started to adopt IoT to transform their businesses.
“In South Africa, for example, we have seen the deployment of the connected car, which has been utilised in various industries such as fleet management, tracking, usage-based-insurance,” Huawei said. “We see lots of advantages. IoT improves business efficiency, reduces operating expenses, enhances service awareness, boosts customer experience and gives rise to new business opportunities.”
Franck Cohen, the chief commercial officer at SAP international, the global software giant, urged African governments to embrace technology in order to ensure youth have the skills to compete in a digital world.
“Low-skilled jobs are at risk. The main manual tasks that are done in data enterprise can be replaced by automation and machinery capabilities. I am talking about the years to come, not even the long-term future.”
He said research and analysis indicated that by 2025 the world would have a fully automated accounting system, which would render jobs in the field irrelevant.
“Accountants will be jobless. The same applies to call centres. Digital assistance and robots will replace call centre operators.”
However, Cohen said there would also be opportunities to create new jobs -technology analysts, data scientists and a new crop of people to build algorithms.
Countries that adopted modern innovations would realise some growth in their gross domestic product.
Resisting the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he warned, would render obstinate businesses irrelevant.
 CAJ News

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