Technology tipped to push half of Kenyan workforce out of jobs

Technological changes have rattled the service industry, particularly the banking sector, with banks replacing tellers with mobile banking. [Photo: Courtesy]
NAIROBI, KENYA: Over half of Kenyan workers are in danger of being rendered jobless as technology replaces manpower, employers have warned.

Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo said on Monday a survey done by the lobby last year showed most companies in the country were automating their work processes to improve efficiency.

Ms Mugo said 52 per cent of work activities in the country were susceptible to automation, ahead of those in Nigeria (46 per cent), Ethiopia (44 per cent) and South Africa (41 per cent), pointing to a dearth in marketable skills on the continent.  

“The skills instability stems from the fact that many jobs in the region are becoming more intense in their use of digital technologies,” said Mugo who also doubles up as the Secretary-General BusinessAfrica, an umbrella-body for all private employers in Africa.

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She spoke at the launch of the BusinessAfrica Enterprise Forum in Nairobi. The forum was also attended by representatives from the International Organisation of Employers and the French Employers’ Federation.

Technological changes have rattled the service industry, particularly the banking sector, with banks replacing tellers with mobile banking.

Family Bank is the latest lender to send 150 employees home, putting the figure of bankers out of work last year alone at 2,083, as lenders grappled with dwindling interest income.

Federation of Kenya EmployersExecutive Director Jacqueline Mugotechnology replaces manpowertechnology