Week 8: THE FUTURE OF WORK

The “Future of Work” is one of the most important discussions today, with great debate focused on how technologies like Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotics will impact jobs, wages and our skills of today. According to a 2018 WEF report on The Future of Jobs, it is predicted that by 2022 the job landscape will experience a structural change that will completely revolutionize how society sees and understands work.

Global labour markets are expected to undergo significant transformation in the five-year period between 2018 and 2022, with an estimated 75 million jobs being lost and another 133 million being created. Growing occupations include roles such as data analysts, software developers, big data specialists, jobs that are based on and enhanced by the use of technology. In addition to the acceleration of technological advancement, other factors like ease of commercialization, public adoption of new technologies and existing labour laws have significant influence on the rate at which these developments will accelerate workforce transformation.

What does this mean for the average Ugandan? The transformation projected in the global labour markets will as well be experienced in our local economies, and are already being seen. A report from The East African newspaper recently stated that in the 12 months to March 2019, the circulation of the two leading Ugandan dailies, New Vision and Daily Monitor has gone down by 4.27% while the circulation of the Sunday papers is down by 10.4%, and Bukedde by 16%.
The reality of change is one we face every day, and as Heraclitus the Greek philosopher put it, “Change is the only constant in life.”

Like the fisherman who sets his sail aright when the winds on the seas are blowing, so must leaders in society prepare the sails when the winds of change are blowing. Preparedness and courage to face change are the only remedy to the impending structural shifts in the global jobs landscape. New tasks demand new skills, and we must be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn where necessary. We must prepare ourselves, our systems, our society, and more importantly our young people for this impending change; and like a Ugandan through leader recently put it, “If we teach today’s students as we did yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”

If you would like to participate in the discussion on “The Future of Work” get your ticket today and join us at the Africa Blockchain Conference 2019, where experts from Uganda, Africa and around the world will discuss this important subject, and more importantly, how to prepare for it.