Services sector jobs to remain relevant in AI era


Head of Technology and Business Systems Support at Republic Bank, Samuel Dakurah, says in an era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), jobs in the services sector will remain relevant despite the disruption that comes along with it.

There are many scary forecasts of the capacity of automation and AI to replace a lot of workers very fast, however, research by the Center for Global Development in 2019, suggest that other pathways to prosperity appear to be emerging in Africa, as evidence of a rising impact of services on growth compared to manufacturing.

Speaking at the digital conference held by Republic Bank and Business and Financial Times, Mr. Dakurah said: “an area that cannot be replaced by AI is services. The robot can answer as much questions as they like but that customer service and experience is something that will still exist and can only be done by humans.”

He added: “So, services are going to become key and organisations will probably be going to start delving more into enhancing their services using human responses to ensure customer satisfaction.”

In the Ghanaian economy, the services sector was the largest sector in the first quarter of 2021 with a share of 53 percent of GDP at basic prices, which is made up of real estate, information & communication, trade, public administration & defense, social security, as well as hotel and restaurant and professional, administrative & support.

AI has although endangered the risk of disruption due to automation, it has stopped repetitive roles in sectors like healthcare, IT, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, retail packaging, and shipping. “There is still a lot of growth and development that is needed to go into artificial intelligence   to enable it get to the point where jobs will be affected,” he said.

Mr. Dakurah emphasized that although jobs will be affected in the future, there will be new jobs and opportunities that will be created.

“So, its time now that as part of our educational system, we start inculcating technology. We need to move to a point where technology becomes like the way we teach the English language, such that by the time the younger generation comes out of school there will be a basic understanding of technology in order to continue to remain relevant,” he said.

He stated that there is a need to keep an eye on the space and monitor the trends and know how to direct the educational systems in order to remain relevant.

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