Uganda warned on Artificial Intelligence
KAMPALA, UGANDA – Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director of Uganda National Social Security Fund has said employers and education institutions should be vigilant about emerging technologies that are transforming the world and may wipe out existing jobs.
Byarugaba said in Kampala that some of the jobs that are existing in the world today were not even in existence only ten years ago. “Some of these occupations are in high demand for the work we do. We need to have our social media up and running all the time. By one popular estimate cited by the World Economic Forum in 2016 with a focus on Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it is projected that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist,” said Byarugaba. He gave an example of app developers, social media managers, sustainability managers, drone operators and Youtube content creators etc which he said are jobs that have been created as a result of advancement in technology. Byarugaba said the emergency of Artificial Intelligence through the use of Robots will likely wipe out close to 5.1million jobs by 2020 according to the World Economic Forum noting that there is need for education institutions and employers to envisage this advancement in technology and work out on the education given to the young generation. “With emergency of Artificial Intelligence, are our education institutions giving the future needed skills to our Children. Probably it’s time to put more emphasis in vocational education rather than the theoretical one,” said Byarugaba. Byarugaba added that Employers need to be prepared to effectively engage in this global dialogue on the future of work by understanding the drivers of change impacting business since they will ultimately affect job sustenance and job creation. “We need to understand the sectors which are having expanding employment opportunities, and we also need to appreciate the increasing trend of income inequality and the rising number of the working poor. “We have seen serious disruptions in the economy here in Uganda with some companies closing which is a cause for concern since businesses that are meant to create jobs now and for the future are disappearing before the future has even arrived. This calls for strategic policy interventions. “We need to focus our attention on economic and social activities that create jobs by deliberately mainstreaming employment targets in all our sector plans,” he said. The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in collabo- ration with the International Labour Organization held an employers’ dialogue aimed at developing an employers’ position on the future of work in Uganda. This dialogue was based on the pretext that Uganda and the world over is experiencing profound changes that are affecting the work environment stemming from technology innovation, population growth, globalization, climate change, growing economic divide, changing character of production and employment among others. Rosemary Ssenabulya, Ex- ecutive Director Federation of Uganda Employers said, “FUE is an employers’ association established to represent employers’ interests on social, economic and labour issues. “The future of work is therefore an important aspect in which the employers’ perspective ought to be shared.’ She added that they realize that the onus is on all of them to develop suitable policies for the changing work environment while especially focusing on ensuring decent working conditions and acceptable social welfare. “Employers all agree that the greatest resource any company can have is the human resource; it is therefore imperative that we participate in all the processes that improve the working conditions of all the employees both now and the future.” Okwir Nicholas, the Chairman Board of Directors FUE said, ‘Work in future will be more networked, more devolved, more mobile, more team-based, more projectbased, more collaborative, more real-time, and more fluid. The challenge will to be make sure it is not more complicated, confusing, or overwhelming. “This will require better and different ways to communicate, collaborate, and network. The future of work will require leaders to act increasingly as network architects and role models for the new ways of working.’ Aggie Konde, the Managing Director of Nation Television, One of Uganda’s leading Television Stations said with emergency of Artificial Intelligence and use of robots, the media industry may not need television camerapersons in the near future. “A robot will ably be able to record and move around cameras. Now where is the future job of all my camera persons,” she asked.
Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director of Uganda National Social Security Fund