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Inclusive growth through digital tech

Kristalina  Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank

Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank

Governments around the world have been admonished to pursue policies that would enable their citizens to take advantage of the emerging digital economy and achieve inclusive financial growth. This could be done by investing in their people from their early years through life time to enable them to acquire skills needed in the emerging digital economy.

At a seminar on Harnessing Technology for Inclusive Growth, Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, projected that emerging digital technologies would reshape the future of work and people’s ability to earn a living.

Georgieva illustrated this by sharing the impact of the digital economy on the European Union’s labour market. According to her, the EU lost 50 percent manual jobs in the past decade and created 50 per cent new economy jobs. Unfortunately, the people that lost their jobs were not the same people that are gained employment in the digital economy. The jobs went to those who prepared themselves for the emerging era. “We are whole heartedly committed to make sure that technology is an optimistic journey and not a depressive one,” Georgieva said.

Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, observed that many people are not preparing key into the evolving digital era. The accounting profession, she said has lost 400,000 and created 600,000 skilled accounting jobs in the United States. “If we engender right policies as countries, we will bring about the transformation that will bring in those who are excluded today into the digital era to experience transformed lives,” Gates reasoned.

Strive Masiyiwa, African telecoms entrepreneur and founder Econet Group, submitted that the key to job creation is teaching entrepreneurship to young people. He, however, said it was imperative to lay down such physical infrastructure as roads, rails and power as well as soft ones like ICT skills.

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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