Scientist urges Africa to prepare youths for automated, data future

Mrs Shingai Manjengwa, the Chief Executive Officer of Fireside Analytics, has urged Nigeria and other African countries to prepare the youths for automated and data-driven future.

Manjengwa gave the advice in Lagos during the maiden edition of ”Big Data and Business Analytics Conference 2019.”

The conference, organised by the Information and Data Analytics Foundation (iDAF), has the theme ”Unleashing The Power Of Data Analytics To Drive Business Result.”

She said that there was need to prepare the young people for the future, as 50 per cent of jobs were at risk of automation.

The data scientist said that anything digital is data, which include images, sounds and videos.

She said that the world was generating big data, which was informing automation.

”Big data is volume, it is velocity, big data is variety. We have to create the Africa we want by developing the data economy,” Manjengwa said.

According to her, to prepare the youths for an automated future, there should be a changing trend in education.

”The young people should be able to learn with computers. The world is changing and there are new demands, hence, the need to fill the demands.

”Insight from the World Innovation Summit for education shows that current literature to mitigate the job losses from automation focuses on re-skilling and evolving current education systems by adding coding.

”Skills to succeed in automation are human interaction, social intelligence, critical thinking, creativity and complex non-routine tasks.

”Africa’s future of work story will be different from developed markets. With much of the workforce of tomorrow, we can programme the requisite skills today, ” she said.

The convener of the conference, Theophilus Mederios, said that the programme was borne out of the need to bring together big data and business analytics across sectors in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Mederios said that the primary objective was to discuss ways business could take advantage of their data as intellectual property to make informed strategic business decisions.

”Now is the time for business leaders and policy makers in Africa to shift from making intuition-based decisions to making data-driven decisions that align with organisation strategies for the growth and development of businesses,” he said.