Professor Akua Opokua Britwum (arrow), Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, with some participants
A lecturer in the Department of Labor and Human Resources Studies at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor Akua Opokua Britwum, observed that with the advent of digitalization, many more jobs will soon disappear and this could constitute a challenge for employment in the country.
She said that technology is gradually cutting jobs previously done by humans as a way for companies to reduce production costs.
For example, she said, in the financial sector, most transactions were done through digital platforms, reducing human contact.
“You realize that fewer people now go to the banks to get money. They are using the ATM and fewer people are also paying for goods and services in cash and it is only a matter of time when our reliance on cash decreases and banking operations have changed dramatically as a result ” , she said.
Professor Britwum said this when she gave the opening speech last Friday at the Women in Economic Transformation Forum, which was themed: “The Future of Gender Work and Informality in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
The forum was organized by the Economic Policy Competence Center of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with the Women Economists Network (WEN).
In order to turn the tide and ensure people don’t lose their jobs, she said, it was necessary for the state to play a central role in investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and using the benefits. to create more jobs for Ghanaians.
“AI is going to kill some jobs and if it is introduced by a capitalist then the goal is to reduce costs.
“Because they want to cut costs, people will lose their jobs, but if AI is driven by the state for the benefit of the people, due to the higher productivity, the profits made by the state can be invested. in other sectors to create new work.
“The question now is how the Ghanaian state will put itself in place to be able to predict what new jobs will be needed to replace those lost by automation,” said Professor Britwum.
She warned that if the state did not play a central role, most Ghanaians would lose their jobs.
Despite this, Professor Britwum said, the labor front in sub-Saharan Africa was not threatened compared to advanced countries due to the lack of the infrastructure needed for full automation.
She added that due to the availability of cheap labor, some companies have found it more economically viable to employ humans than to invest in AI.
FES Resident Director Johann Ivanov said the goal of the forum was to create a network of women economists who would play an active role in shaping the economic development of the country.
According to him, “we believe that women’s ideas on economic policies are not yet properly reflected in the current debate”.