Of the technological revolutions, automation is probably the one that invokes the most social anxiety, as noted in a study by Northwestern University economic historian Joel Mokyr and his co-authors. Concern over the impact of automation is likely to be acute in regions such as Africa where youth unemployment remains a major threat to political stability.
The specter of economic populism that is haunting Europe and America is partly rooted in perceptions of unemployment and inequality arising from how businesses deployed technology in the last few decades.
Africa will not be spared from the sweep of such populism and opposition to new technology.
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