The future of work in Africa comes under the spotlight at this year’s AfricaCom and AfricaTech, part of the virtual Africatech Festival
Everything we know about work is changing; from where and how it’s done, to who does it. The conversation around the future of work has been at arm’s length for many, but in 2020, it has been brought into stark and present focus – but, how can companies innovate their workforce alongside the people and industries they represent, in a new (and still evolving) business reality?
Seeking to address this question, this year, AfricaCom and AfricaTech, part of the virtual Africa Tech Festival (ATF), will host a series of Future of Work in Africa conversations that will focus on three key pillars that are driving the necessary innovation in the workplace – people, processes and technology.
The African continent, traditionally reliant on labour, has an opportunity to forge a different path than the rest of the world when it comes to the future of work. Reports show that digital technology adoption has the potential, if harnessed effectively, to transform the nature of work – for all Africans.
Several panel discussions and presentations at this year’s ATF, will look to providing illumination and a road map as to how to ensure that the continent fully embraces a digital future, not least amongst them the adoption of digital technologies to help build skills – not just for a privileged few, but for all.
Essential to the uptake and inclusion in the digital ecosystem is faster internet to increase jobs for all workers regardless of their education level, and the role of policies and investment in unlocking Africa’s potential. Key themes that permeate throughout this year’s conferencing content.
“We have toyed too long with ideas to adopt digital technologies to address socio-economic challenges in food, health, security and education, how businesses can reduce costs, drive new revenue streams and dramatically improve customer experience and productivity,” said Rapelang Rabana.
“COVID has demonstrated once and for all that these are not just nice or cute ideas but business imperatives. Rabana will speak on Digital Skills: Building the 4IR army.
Discussions happening over 10 and 11 November on the AfricaTech Centre Stage include:
· Presentation: How Africa will survive or thrive tech disruption
· The future of work: from COVID-19 to the 4IR and beyond – Stafford Masie, General Manager, WeWork South Africa
· Bridging Africa’s digital skills gap: Enhancing human capacity to realise Africa’s 4IR potential, a panel discussion that will incorporate discussion points on:
- Designing the workforce of the future
- What key skills will be required? Where are the biggest gaps?
- Who is responsible for the required skills reboot?
- Modifying existing learning systems for the digital age
- How can non-conventional learning pathways be formalised and scaled?
- Teaching people to become lifelong learners
- Creating a learning culture through digital upskilling – a panel discussion on how the pandemic has accelerated change in business transformation and their Future of Work roadmap
· Preparing Africa for the Workplace of the Future – Education and work in Sub-Saharan Africa will determine the livelihoods of nearly a billion people in the region and drive growth and development for generations to come.
As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that adequate investments are made in education and learning to prepare its citizens for the world of tomorrow.
· Is office design still fit for purpose? A fireside chat
· Interoperable, integral and secure: Navigating the adoption of cloud-based communication platforms in a dynamic new reality
· Building the data-driven mindset – a presentation that will tackle the questions of ROI of delivering business effectiveness through a data-driven approach is well accepted in other areas of innovation, so why not HR?
· Fireside chat: How to build an evidence-based employee wellbeing strategy with measurable returns – With people told to work from home and stay away from others to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, more employers than ever are talking about wellness.
This session will determine the keys to build an employee wellbeing strategy, with benefits for both employee and employer.
· Panel Discussion: How the pandemic has accelerated change in business transformation and their Future of Work roadmap – This session will explore the impact of Covid-19 on the way people work and how this will continue to affect our future.
· accelerateHER Future of Work Africa Takeover Panel Discussion
(In these transformative times, there are concerns about the implications of the fourth industrial revolution for the future of women’s work).
Speakers participating in the Future of Work series will include:
· Juliet Mhango, Chief Human Capital Development & Transformation Officer, Cell C
· Stafford Masie, General Manager, WeWork South Africa
· Rapelang Rabana, Founder, Rekindle Digital & Rekindle Learning
· Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO, Youth Employment Service
· Desere Orill, Chairman, Ole!Connect & Director, Bold Network
· Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman, Massmart
· Yumna Tayob, Head of Learning & Development, FNB Bank
· Adeleke Pitan, Head of Talent & Reward Management, ARM HoldCo
The Future of Work Africa offers a unique opportunity to explore their undeniable interconnection and answer questions such as creating a flexible workforce planning processes, exploring what skills will be required for the future, and how to prepare for a future not yet defined.
Taking place online this year, the Africa Tech Festival incorporating AfricaCom and AfricaTech will provide ample opportunity for insight, business operational adjustment and an eye as to the opportunities presented by the digital shift.