Gearing Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

CACS has released a major report entitled ‘Gearing Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, based on contributions to an international webinar with the same title held on 21 July 2020.

The presenters were Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ Principal and Vice-Chancellor; Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator for the International Telecommunication Union (ICU); Edward Zhou, Vice President of Global Public Affairs, Huawei; Thang Nguyen-Quoc, economist for the Africa Unit of the OECD Development Centre; and Seth Mulli, Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Trust. This report summarises their contributions, and supplements their insights.

According to the report, the seminar effectively highlighted the importance of the 41R for Africa. Africa has a bigger stake in the adoption and success of 4IR than other world regions because it is still the poorest in the world, with bleak prospects for providing its rapidly growing youth population with meaningful and sustainable employment. All the presenters listed specific handicaps and challenges confronting the continent, but also pointed to ways in which these could be overcome.

It was imperative for the continent to work with organisations such as the ITU, Huawei and many others that could catalyse Africa’s inclusion in the 4IR. ‘However,’ the report concludes, ‘the webinar underlined that Africa is quite capable of making independent and fact-based decisions about its development partners.’

To download the report, click here.