Human capital investment “vital” for innovation, says World Bank president

The need to invest in human capital is lagging across the globe and therefore hindering the economic development of  various countries, according to the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim.

Jim Yong Kim

Speaking at the World Government Summit today in Dubai, Kim highlighted the influence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in believing that the investment in people is among the most important investments to make.

Within this, he discussed the need for countries to invest in education and awareness around the fact that jobs of the future will be very different to those of today. In the Middle East alone, he claims, 150 million people will leave the workforce by 2050, but an additional 450 million will join.

“That means there is a gap of 300 million jobs that needs to be created between now and then,” he said.

He went on to highlight how experts predict that between 2022 and 2025, broadband will have a global reach, and touch the lives of all 8 billion people living on Earth. “While we know this will make people very happy as they will finally be connected to a wider community, it will also impact their reference income, meaning the income to which they compare their own is no longer compared to their neighbours, but instead is compared to the rest of the world,” he said.

This will, in turn, impact the aspiration levels of those living in low-income countries. Looking back on his own childhood in the Republic of South Korea in the late fifties, which he regards as “one of the poorest countries in the world,” he reminisced on how literacy levels were poor, but poverty levels were high.

“But these days, what many people find the hardest to swallow is that as aspirations rise in these poor countries, jobs are disappearing, and this is why I believe it is so important that we prepare younger generations for the jobs of the future,” he said.

He touched on how in Rwanda is trying to take technology and enable it to play a vital role in everyday life. “AI-powered drones, which require a 4G LTE network to operate on, are now being used to deliver blood across the country, meaning it can be made available to almost every clinic,” he said.

What this has meant though, however, is that the “muscle-powered” jobs of delivering such services are disappearing.

McKinsey says that over 45 percent of jobs that exist today could be removed by automation, and while examples such as this drone delivery service are fantastic use cases for technology in low income countries, this is why it is so important to educate the youth and create awareness of how jobs in the future may be curated,” he said.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


The free newsletter covering the top industry headlines