How Technology Innovation Could Cause Job Losses in Africa

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African young entrepreneurs now use technology as a major tool to solve problems which are pushing the continent to the forefront of innovation. In Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and other African countries we now have young inventors and innovators who have come up with technological ideas that are scaring away the existing technologies and making life a lot much easier for people.

But there seem to be some opposing groups who are feeling threatened that these so called new technologies might displace them by putting their jobs at risk now and in the future. This issue has gone continental and was extensively discussed by technology experts at the HOGAN LOVELLS AFRICA FORUM held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The Head of Policy, Analysis, and Research at Multichoice South-Africa ANTON DOYLE, stated it clearly that using technology to acquire more productivity with fewer resources would have a huge impact on Africa if technology innovation was encouraged.

In September last year President of The United States of America BARACK OBAMA was in Kenya where he held his Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi and said “young people like you are harnessing technology to change the way Africa is doing business”.  Also, the founder of facebook Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria and Kenya; He declared that the future of the world will be built in Africa.


Great Technology Innovations Created by Africans

  1. The M-Pesa mobile money technology which we all use today in sending money to each other via SMS or USSD short codes which was invented in Kenya.
  2. The Block Chain technology;

One new technology with potential massive ramifications for Africa is BlockChain where blocks recording batches of a valid transaction are stored in globally distributed ledgers. E.g. The Bitcoin transaction.

Block Chain technology can be use to fight corruption in Africa, in the sense that if an asset moves from a person to another it is recorded in this highly transparent system.


The most worries now is based on the OTT (Over The Top) technology in Africa which need to be regulated says GSM PROVIDERS in Nigeria, because the GSM Tech is being disrupted by the OTT , they provide free services for voice communication such as skype and WhatsApp calls.

Technology Transformation

Telecoms operators in Nigeria have cried out to the telecoms industry regulative, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to make haste to regulate the OTT .

They further stated that OTT is fast cutting down on their revenue streams since they spent huge sums of money in paying for the GSM spectrum and for the building and expansion of GSM networks.

Although NCC is yet to interfere in the matter.


“You cannot stop technology evolution,” says Johan Jamdahl the country manager, Ericcson Nigeria who joined others in condemning the call to regulate OTT Technologies.

He, therefore, advised telecoms operator not to feel threatened by the services rendered by OTT service providers but should begin to think of innovative ways to serve their customers, without running out of business.

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