satyamkapoor

I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First. ...

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I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First.

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Robots and automation: How Africa is at risk

By satyamkapoor |Email | Mar 20, 2018 | 7020 Views

There are deep concerns being raised about the impact of automation on Africa. In less than two decades it will become cheaper to operate robots in US factories than hire workers in Africa. 
Falling automation costs is expected to lead to job losses as manufacturers return to richer economies.

Some analysts say poorer countries that the impact may be less on poorer countries, however the Overseas Development Institute says otherwise.

However, its reports add that the African nations have time to prepare for this change.

According to Karishma Banga, a senior research officer at ODI - African countries should not be averse to manufacturing but should instead increase access to Internet and invest in technical skills and promoting technological innovation. 
She added that if done well, automation can bring about important opportunities by giving a boost to labor productivity in manufacturing.

It has also been suggested that poorer countries are likely to get less affected by automation since they have less money to invest in it.

ODI's report on Digitalization and Future of Manufacturing in Africa found that in the area of furniture manufacturing, Kenyan wages will be higher when compared to the cost of operating 3D printers and robots in US by 2034.

On the other hand, in Ethiopia, ODI predicted that robotic automation will become cheaper compared to workers between 2038 and 2042.

This means that the continent has somewhere between one to two decades to build up it's capabilities in sectors that are less at risk of automation which include areas like food and beverages, metals, garments and others.

ODI advises that African nations improve access to broadband and develop technical skills among the locals through vocational training, technology hubs and by focusing on STEM subjects in African educational bodies. 

Source: HOB