Technological disruption in Africa presents opportunity for economic growth and inclusion

We can expect more advancements in the next decade than in the last 250 years.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Internet of Things (IoT) set to bring more technological advancements around the world, employers in Africa will need to expand their pool of highly skilled employees.

A survey by PwC suggests that by 2030, Africa will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s population of under 25s, which will make up 60 percent of the continent’s total population. By then, 15 percent of the world’s working population will reside in Africa.

According to the survey, “The change in demographics suggests that Africa will need to expand its pool of highly-skilled employees through the development of cognitive STEM-based skills (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and non-cognitive soft skills like sense-making and social intelligence competencies.”

Digital and automation technologies will, the survey notes, impact the future world of work, leaving many workers around the world feeling anxious they will lose their jobs to automation.

“Although Africa will experience unprecedented technological disruption, this also presents an opportunity for the continent to drive inclusion and economic growth, through the utilisation of future-ready strategies for job creation,” the survey reads.

PwC has the following recommendations for CEOs in Africa:

Skills, partnerships and opportunities: Employers should partner with institutions of learning to prepare for a disruptive future.
Nurture the right skills: By attracting and nurturing the right talent, leaders will be able to correctly capitalise on the right skills. The human element is of great importance as the nature of jobs changes regularly.
Improve workforce digital IQ: The retraining and upskilling of the existing workforce in terms of digital technologies is crucial.
Flexibility allows creativity to flourish: Plan for a dynamic future and ensure adaptability.
Experiment: Be the driver and optimise challenges to push change.