South African Minister of Trade and Industry on Sunday called for South Africa and Africa to embrace 4th industrial revolution in order to remain relevant in the digital age.
Rob Davies was speaking at the Progressive Business Forum on the sidelines of the ANC annual conference taking place in Johannesburg. He said the digital disruption will affect South Africa and Africa in many ways and called on the continent to prepare for it and embrace it.
"We are going to see disruptive change at the center of the value chain, future data management companies firms would be at the apex of the value chain. That is what we are beginning to see happening in our industries but South Africa is not yet at the cutting edge of it," said Davies.
He said this is evident in the artificial intelligence and robotics and would affect the production, manufacturing and services industries. He said this would render some of the employees redundant and calls for further skilling of some of the employees.
Davies mentioned that people would need to have another post education qualification in the ICT besides their engineering ones to be employable in some industries.
The minister said Africa should learn from China's industrialization. "We can learn a lot from how China did it as a significant player -- China's state control and nurturing of technology which made them globally competitive."
He also stated that Africa should move away from being the exporters of primary mining resources and agricultural products and importers of refined and finished products. There should be infrastructure put in place to support the 4th industrial revolution like broadband and public policy framework.
He said African countries have to come up with a policy framework for 4th industrial revolution.
(Xinhua News Agency, December 17, 2017)