Robots Could Take Jobs from Africans, Researchers Warn
It could soon cost less to operate a factory of robots in the United States than to employ a human worker in Africa. That is the finding of a report from a London-based research organization. The report warns that automation could have a bad effect on developing economies. It says to avoid that governments must invest in digitalization and skills training.
Businesses traditionally have sent production work to the developing world where labor is less costly. But, technology may soon bring an end to that.
The policy research organization Overseas Development Institute recently examined furniture manufacturing in Africa.
Karishma Banga was a lead researcher. She says that in the next 15 to 20 years the use of robots to make furniture will cost less than Kenyan labor. By 2033, she says, it will be more profitable for American businesses to return production operations to the United States.
Robot costs are falling about 6 percent every year, but the cost of wages is rising every year.
Some businesses are trying to help the human workers who are competing with robots.
The Funkidz furniture factory in Kenya ended its traditional system of production. Now, skilled workers operate automated machines that use computer-aided designs.
The investment is successful. There has been growth and expansion into Uganda and Rwanda. But the company leader Ciiru Waweru Waithaka says she cannot find enough skilled workers.
She said, "There are many people who need jobs, yes, we agree, but if they have no skills... I would love to employ you, but you need a skill, (or) you cannot operate our machines."
She also said she is urging the government to help train workers.
The ODI report writers are doing the same. They say African governments should use the next few years to build industrial and digital skills among people before it is too late.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.developing economies 发展中经济体
When infrastructure investment is made in developing economies, the gains are dramatic and obvious.
2.traditional system 传统体系
The system would be cheap, especially compared with a traditional system, and it would require very little energy.
3.bring an end to 终结；完结
Neutral state in the area has tried to bring an end to the war.
4.production operations 生产业务
Company officials said further cost savings would be generated by “unifying” procurement, sales and production operations.
5.The report warns that automation could have a bad effect on developing economies.
have a bad effect on 对...有不利影响
Alcoholic drink can have a bad effect on your body.
Fights in action films have a bad effect on people, especially teenagers.
6.Some businesses are trying to help the human workers who are competing with robots.
be compete with 与...竞争
Mike's company is competing with mine for the market share.
You are competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants.
不久的将来，在美国经营一家机器人工厂的成本可能比在非洲雇佣工人低。该发现出自伦敦一家研究机构的报告 。该报告警告称，自动化可能会对发展中国家产生不利影响 。为避免这一影响，政府必须对数字化和技能培训进行投资 。
Karishma Banga是首席研究员。她说，在未来15到20年内，利用机器人制造家具的成本将低于雇佣肯尼亚工人 。到2033年，美国企业将生产经营回笼国内将更加有利可图 。
这项投资非常成功，家具厂快速发展并扩张到乌干达和卢旺达。但是该公司负责人Ciiru Waweru Waithaka表示，厂子缺乏足够的技术工人 。