Technology is playing an increasing role in our everyday lives. Futurists and researchers have warned of the effect these changes will have on employment and work as we know it. Jobs that have elements that are predictable and repetitive are likely to have these elements of the job automated. The debates arguing that jobs are at risk of being replaced or computerised is based on studies conducted mainly in Europe and Northern America. In this context, it’s difficult to predict to what extent job losses will be experienced, which makes predictions in the developing world even more precarious.
The Future of Retail in Africa study shows that the nature of work in the near future will be ‘flexible’, and this could have serious implications for the social protection of workers. This study provides clarity and a way forward for workers and their representatives in trade unions organising in Africa’s retail sector.