Africa can leap into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to drive sustainable industrialization, employment and transformation by investing in human expertise and implementing insurance policies supporting digital applied sciences, consultants attending the African Financial Convention 2023 stated.
The 4IR is the ushering in of digitalization, synthetic intelligence (AI), cloud computing, robotics, and 3D printing amongst different revolutionary digital applied sciences, succeeding the primary, second and third industrial revolutions.
However may Africa leapfrog the third, shifting from the second to the fourth industrial revolution, and what are the implications of this for the continent’s improvement? This was the query posed by the moderator of a session on 4IR, Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist on the Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Growth Programme (UNDP).
Gilpin stated the 4IR was not completely about industrialization in Africa however it’s about how modifications in using know-how may disrupt, revitalize and spark exponential development.
Panel members on the session highlighted that Africa had the chance to leapfrog to the 4IR and speed up its industrialization however it has to do the precise issues to profit from this technological transformation.
Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, Government Vice-President of the African Middle for Financial Transformation (ACET) stated the 4IR requires a rethink on adopting the brand new applied sciences which might be seen as a possibility, not a risk.
“We like to speak about leapfrogging however what we’ve got carried out is to leapfrog from low productive agriculture to low productive providers, that isn’t going to generate the roles that we desperately want,” Owusu-Gyamfi stated, including that Africa wants a deeper understanding of the 4IR so as to harness its advantages.
A lot of Africa is regressing in transformation, in accordance with ACET’s just lately launched Africa Transformation Index, protecting 30 nations representing 86.5% of the continent’s GDP. Some key transformation challenges dealing with Africa embrace low labour productiveness, particularly as a consequence of low talent ranges. That is pushed by a mismatch between expertise and schooling programs, and what firms want. Owusu-Gyamfi referred to as for the diversification of Africa’s export merchandise to spice up international competitiveness.
Natalie Jabangwe, Chief Digital Officer at monetary providers agency Sanlam, stated that Africa must create significant work and increase expertise improvement to speed up industrialization and reverse the issue of low expertise. As well as, Africa must create formal jobs that may be scaled up, in addition to enhance the standard of service to be globally aggressive.
“Africa must give attention to creating work by way of sustainable and world-class platforms. Once we begin speaking about platforms this leads us into the commercial revolution and significantly the tech age,“ Jabangwe instructed the session on 4IR.
Africa’s manufacturing worth as a share of the economic system has declined over the previous 40 years, stated Rita Babihuga-Nsanze, Chief Economist and Director of Analysis and Technique on the Africa Finance Company (AFC).
She stated that within the early Nineteen Eighties, the manufacturing worth as a share of GDP was round 18% which declined to 10% of GDP in 2011. This has been attributed to a mix of an absence of capital, infrastructure, power and intentionality, and poor industrial insurance policies.
The AFC has promoted particular financial zones (SEZs) as a improvement mannequin for African nations to ramp up industrialization. Babihuga-Nsanze stated SEZs can function an motors that assist flip round industrial sectors.
Pazion Cherinet, CEO and Founding father of OrbitHealth.co and Orbit Innovation Hub, stated Africa has a possibility to leverage from the 4IR however there’s a lack of immersion within the know-how accessible in Africa.