Last year, I used to think, or better to hope, that Africa would have found its place in the globalised world, with some more investments in education and lots of young working-age people. I imagined that western companies would be ready to move their productivity to African countries, pushed by the need to decrease work’s costs. In Africa, the working force was ready, and it was strong and young. Education was improving, the situation was perfect, and Africa was ready to take its piece of the globalization cake.
But something was silently changing the game’s rules: robotics.
Robotics will absorb lots of those non-qualified jobs which lots of less prepared young people could have done, needing urgently an employment.
The automation rhythm will depend on social, technical and economic contexts and the challenge for Africa will be that of making educational and employment systems evolve, so that they could help citizens to keep pace with times. It won’t be easy, especially for those countries which today find it hard to build infrastructure to ease basic trades and services.
It is impossible to know how things will go, but there’s one thing that’s certain: about 4 billion people are going to live in Africa, all spectators of ad advancing world.