Kenyans Are Broke Children Of A Developed Country Thanks To Technology
Kenya has been hailed for advancing in technology in what seems to be a seamless move from analogue to digital, from our homes, health facilities, social amenities, schools, county governments, national government, and obviously personal lives. Technology has occupied a big place in today’s system and has unfortunately rendered many jobless.
It is almost absurd to see that as the economy grows, more people are being rendered jobless or even redundant in offices they have held for years. The more the economy grows, the more daily living becomes expensive. Why? Because this growth has come from capital-intensive infrastructure projects that have not trickled down to the mwananchi. This can easily explain why the president-elect has been campaigning for a bottom-up economy.
However, this article is not about politicians and their promises, or even a manifesto, it’s a reality for Kenya and its citizens. The great projects you see around, great roads, huge real estate developments, and even county projects have been focused on Vision 2030 and the targeted economic growth in terms of infrastructure. Therefore, these projects have not been labour intensive. And where there has been labour needed, the workforce has been imported, it is evident with all the foreigners we see in working sites, leaving our engineers out in the cold. Leaving professionals in the sector as just manual aid for the ‘project drivers’.
Jobs previously taken up by unskilled or semi-skilled employees have been taken up by computers and digital systems. For example, your parking ticket in towns before the current system was handled manually, today, you only need to pay via mobile money and you have secured a slot and a ticket.
The banking industry on the other hand has largely eliminated manual labour, systems have also taken up customer care jobs and all you need to do in case of an inquiry is speak to a system, and you are sorted. Telecommunications have also eliminated positions that needed manual labour and replaced them with systems or only a few professionals who literally supervise the systems. I could go on and on about various industries and how they have eliminated employees but look right into your industry, that is the case.
The problem with such technological advancement for such a country, a developing country, is that most people are not learned beyond systems. By this I mean, that the only people still holding offices today are tech savvy, that can either handle high technology systems or can innovate more. Where does that leave those who previously depended on muscle memory for daily bread? Jobless.
Finally, as much as we are celebrating technology and how advanced our country is compared to Kenya’s peers, we are locking out the majority out of jobs, not only the youth but also the aged.