Why Africans Must Support Robotics Adoption

Why Africans Must Support Robotics Adoption

Humans have over the years crated robots in images of themselves (they don’t all come looking like humans but they’ve usually shared certain human abilities). Overtime, robots have crafted smart enough and physically capable enough to make their way out of factories and labs, to walk and roll, making tasks faster. However, Africa’s infrastructure issues have weakened the pace at which automation, AI and robotics are been adopted in the region.

To set the motion for the pre-conditional measures required for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), Africa must consider integrating digital technologies that can blur the boundary between the physical and the digital worlds. These include the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, Big Data, robotics and AI. These technological changes are on course to significantly impact all industries and economies, including in Africa. While South Africa is performed excellently in the first two, the country still lack necessary infrastructure for the robotics and AI adoption. This need to change; a perception also shared by 74% of South African employees.

According to Kaspersky, 74% of South African employees surveyed believe that robots should be more widely used in production across different industries.

According to market research firm IDC, there will be 55.7 billion digitally connected devices in use worldwide by 2025, 75% of which will be linked to an IoT platform. In addition, the growth rate of the IoT market in Africa and the Middle East is second only to that of Asia-Pacific. GlobalData had predicted that by 2023, IoT sales in the region will have doubled to $20 billion. South Africa, the most developed country in the area, is predicted to have a $31.6 billion IoT market by 2028, up from $4.98 billion in 2022, according to market research firm Insight Partners. During that time, it will increase at a projected 36% compound annual growth rate.

Businesses throughout the world have found measurable business value by adopting IoT technology – ranging from improved business productivity and process efficiency to improved customer experiences, product quality and cost efficiency. Technology has brought higher labour productivity to many sectors. However, many Africans regard automation and robots with suspicion.  It is believed that by adopting robotics, the demand for workers for routine tasks. According to 92% of respondents surveyed by Kaspersky, the better robots become at different tasks, the fewer jobs will remain for humans.

However, humans are more likely to work alongside robots than be replaced by one. The earth will always require a human touch. The new technologies can also create jobs, as they shape the demand for new goods and services. Many new jobs could be created for more tech-literate workers and those with the right skill set.

Deep technologies are still not widely used or having a significant impact on the African continent compared to the rest of the world. But because of the socioeconomic impact that advanced technologies can have, it is an issue that industry executives and policy makers are beginning to recognize and discuss more frequently. The major issues facing Africa are still access and funding. More advancement in this area will encourage enterprises and consumers to adopt robotics more widely.