How do we strike the balance in AI in the African continent?

 

 A lot has been written on the African continent and how the largest work force shall be based in Africa by the year 2050. However we fail to address the issue of the huge growing young population that has no access to quality and relevant education for the market of the future. The knowledge and skill gaps that exist today and continue to have as the population need to be fixed by you and me or shall end up having a completely different narrative of the African continent.

With the rapid acceleration of Artificial intelligence and its related technologies, we are constantly seeing the day to day simple jobs especially manual jobs being taken away. This is already happening in some countries in the world and increasing at rapid scales that are not going to stop any time soon.

With that said, there is need to think and strategize quickly on how the African continent should leverage on educating a work force that would not be left behind. Left behind in terms of job opportunities due to lack of critical skills required to play in the Market of the fourth Industrial technologies and ensuring that they are compensated equally as their counterparts in the world. The “we” in this case is you and me lobbying our governments and policy makers by ensuring that they are implementing the correct frameworks for this to be achievable.

The major required skills as argued by the pundits on what is needed in this era of the 4th industrial revolution are critical thinking skills, analytical skills and Research and communication. This will help in transcending the rapid changes that artificial intelligence is about to bestow us with. It is critical to always learn how to learn and these skills are the foundation of horning that skill set.

There are several technological platforms today such as the Massive open online platforms which basically offer courses from the best Universities in the world and I can’t overemphasize enough on how taking advantage of this should be  what most young people in the African continent should look out for. These platforms include coursera, MIT open Courseware, Code academy, Udacity and several other sites.

Someone might come up with a rebuttal on “what about internet since these platform require internet to access? Rightfully so, it is a valid concern but at the same time, we now live in an era where the internet is being democratized and not held in silos as it was previously held and accessible to very few people. We currently have in most African cities, plan that are called co-working space. This is a facility that is accessible for free to the public to access the internet and be able to accomplish their tasks.

These facilities are now becoming a common sight even in the remotest areas in the continent through partnerships with organizations such as Facebook that are determined to ensure that people in the world even those in the last mile are also connected to the internet.

Having that awareness and knowing how to source for the right information will certainly put anyone at a level where they can still compete in a market full of machines. Artificial intelligence will phase out some Jobs in the market but it is going to create other Job opportunities which will fundamentally be In abundance as well. Learning on how to learn is the way to go in order to survive in this rapidly changing environment in technology.

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