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Investing in African Talents the Workforce of the Future

4 min read

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Last we discussed what can change in Africa by rethinking our education system.

Today we want to look at how AI is designed to complement humans in the workplace, and while they have replaced workers in many tasks, technology has created more jobs than it has displaced. How can African governments support this shift through policies? How can Ed-Tech companies on the continent integrate learning to train African Talents and prepare them as a capable workforce?

Globally, employers report difficulty hiring skilled workers, and educational and training institutions need to catch up to maximize the benefits of information technology. The absorption rate of technology differs between countries and firms, affecting its potential to destroy jobs.

In the African continent, there is a growing demand for talents with in-demand skills such as data analysis, software development, and digital marketing. Global businesses are increasingly looking for African talents to fill these positions, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

Technology has increased labor productivity by reducing the demand for workers in routine tasks and has opened doors to new sectors. Market opportunities are growing for all participants, with platform firms creating new marketplaces and even small firms going global. However, some jobs, particularly routine tasks, are vulnerable to automation. The declining cost of machines puts low-skill workers at risk of automation and competition for low-wage jobs.

The rise of robots and artificial intelligence in the workforce is causing concern among workers, as tasks traditionally performed by humans are being taken over. However, the extent to which robots are replacing workers is unclear. While robots are prevalent in countries like Germany, Korea, and Singapore, the employment rate remains high. Young workers may be more affected by automation, as it reduces the hiring of new entrants.

Technological progress creates jobs in the technology sector, as well as through online work and the gig economy. Workers with general cognitive skills and socio-behavioral skills are more adaptable and in higher demand. Technology is also disrupting production processes and changing the geography of jobs. It is enabling the rise of the gig economy, where organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The nature of work is changing in both advanced and emerging economies, with a convergence between formal and informal work. Labor markets are becoming more fluid in advanced economies, while informality persists in emerging and developing economies.

Governments can play a crucial role in investing in skills development, such as digital literacy and education programs to improve the chances of African talents in global markets. The importance of human capital for the workforce of the future is crucial, and African governments must invest in raising the human capital of their citizens to increase their chances of success on the global stage.

Will robots replace workers and close the path to prosperity through industrialization? The battle between automation and innovation determines the future of work. Automation reduces demand for manufacturing workers, while innovation creates new sectors or tasks. The future of employment depends on both automation and innovation.

Technology has caused job losses in some occupations, but the overall effect has not been technological unemployment. Policymakers should focus on responding to current problems rather than the undefined threat of future unemployment.

Policies such as "Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want" serve as a blueprint for inclusive and sustainable development and embody the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress, and collective prosperity. However, Africa needs to revise and adapt its development agenda to reflect ongoing structural transformations, increased peace and reduction in the number of conflicts, renewed economic growth, and social progress, the need for people-centered development, gender equality, and youth empowerment, and changing global contexts.

Governments under the African Union can strengthen social protection and reduce inequality through regulations or subsidies for employer-provided support, or direct state-provided support. The future of work is uncertain, and governments should rethink policies that deter job creation and protect the vulnerable while encouraging employment.

The demand for in-demand skills in the global labor market is increasing, and African talents can fill these gaps.

However, along these gaps, Mozisha has developed a learning system through its online portal offering courses to equip the African talent pool with relevant skills, and a structural revolution to aid the current educational system to better equip talents with 21st-century tools to compete on the global stage.

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