Most people are blind to the massive economic shift that is already happening across the globe. You may have no desire to sit on a bus/car without a driver, or have your food cooked by robochef, or get surgery done by a robo-doctor. But the reality is that it will happen.

Allow me to sound the wakeup call that change is coming. We are about to face a level of culture shock unprecedented in history. In the good old days, one could get a job in an organization and work there till they retire or die but this is no longer the case. Jobs will be lost, jobs will evolve and this disruption is going to be ageless, raceless, genderless and classless. It is going to affect everyone.

Artificial intelligence can diagnose diseases, handle insurance claims and bookkeeping, manages investment portfolios, does legal research, and performs HR tasks with almost 100% accuracy. Unemployment stats are only going to increase. Retrenchment and layoffs are going to be the order of the day. A lot of the best minds are doubtful many will survive it because we’re all raise with the mindset to go to school and get a job.

Maybe the problem isn’t that jobs are going away. Maybe the problem is that the economic system requires jobs in the first place for people to live” ~Federico Pistono

According to The Economist, 47% of all jobs will be automated by 2034. Almost half of all jobs could be automated by computers within two decades and “no government is prepared” for the tsunami of social change that is coming. The effect of today’s technology on tomorrow’s job’s will be immense and no country is ready for it. Automation impacts workers across the spectrum from low-skilled to white-collor jobs.

47% Of All Jobs Will Be Automated By 2034, And ‘No Government Is Prepared’ Says Economist

The wave of disruptive technology to the job market has only just started. However, you are the one holdout that has to reform itself from within. You can either engineer disruption or let it catch you off guard. You need to be the vanguard in a war everyone is arming for but very few are planning for. I have trouble getting most people to take the idea of working for themselves seriously. Millions of African youth still believe they’ll all be employed as soon as they step out of the university. What a fantasy! Statistics shows that, every month more than one million young Indians turn 18 years old, and enter the job market. These numbers are very similar to the African youth bulge. According to data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), Africa has the largest youth bulge in the world. Most of these youths will never find a job the way we understand jobs today.

The forecasts for the future of work are quite alarming for a continent like Africa, which is already suffering from a chronically high unemployment rate. Youth unemployment rate in Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa continues on its downward trajectory. Job crisis will only worsen in the future as many businesses embraces automation, incorporate artificial intelligence into their daily operations and continue to announce job cuts.

With Africa already facing a direct unemployment bloodbath, how much worse will things get when manual labor, mining jobs, retail and fast food chain jobs are no longer done by humans.  The potential retrenchments across the board looked dire. Mining, metal, retail, manufacturing and textile sectors will be hardest hit. If we think the unemployment rate is high now, how much higher is it going to be when machines and robotics become the norm?

An extract from my upcoming book ‘Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted’

By Nicky Verd

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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