The world is entering the exciting eras of high technology. Globally, we are now in a different stage of the Industrial Revolution. Despite having a poor track record in Africa, a transformed desire for industrialisation is animating growth as well as policy debates. The prospects are endless in smart cities, smart agriculture, smart energy power grids, building secured Govt. Services and developing an effective globally competitive technology industry. These opportunities have the capacity to create new jobs in Africa, fuel GDP and advance economies in the countries. Now the question is- Do African Countries have a significant role to play, considering its massive possibilities? The fourth Industrial revolution is here and African countries have an opportunity to boost its economy, if the right things are done.
When looking at the next industrial revolution, it generally has a disruptive effect on all economies. Yet, there are three core aspects which need to be considered when it comes to Africa
- Public-private partnerships are key levers for growth
- Industries are being rattled digitally &
- Demand of digital skills is pre-eminent
The Industrial Revolution is completely focused around connecting the Digital, Biological and Physical and bringing greater prospects. The next Revolution is already on focus us as Disruptive Technologies like Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud technology, IT, Genome, Humanoid robots, Block chain, Telecom Innovations, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Nano-medicine, 3-D printing, to mention a few, are already changing the way people run their companies and live their lives.
History reveals us that developed Countries like USA, Britain, etc., which initiated or earlier joined Industrial Revolutions, became famous world powers, so there is a strong need for the continent/ African Countries to move forward to lead the way in the next Industrial revolution. Some of the steps and 7 innovative ways how the country can lead the next industrial revolution should include :
1. Complete know-how & awareness of the Digital Economy
2. Build Smart Connectivity to enable IoT networks and Smart cities; do not depend on the existing and overwhelmed Telecom operators.
3. Modernise, Upgrade and Redesign of Industrial related policies & regulations to Leverage the next industrial revolution.
4. Increase support and finance for the new invention, research & development
5. Capacity Building on Disruptive Technologies; Internet-of-Things, Block Chain, Artificial Intelligence, etc.
6. Build digital infrastructure and tap the power of ICT (information and communication technologies).
7. Invest in young persons in the form of education, skills development to enable them to be part of the growing technology sector, Industry, ICT and Agriculture sectors. The gap between the skills required and skills managed is greater in the Africa than in any other province in the world.
These steps will provide direction and systematic steps for governments to tap the power of new techniques, trends, and build infrastructure that will help renovate and change the view how they operate & deliver efficient service to their citizens. It is also projected that IR will considerably impact African countries arising from the need to seamlessly bring opportunities as hiring in Africa, latest Jobs in companies, plus connect and transact business with foreign companies already leveraging Disruptive Technologies and Know-hows. This will usher in the ‘Business unusual’ era.
Technology progress can make it possible for niche companies to access their clients proficiently. For instance- the use of social media as one of the modern marketing tool for the countless of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that continent is famous for can improve sales with low costs. New applications also create new prospects and Jobs in Africa.
In short, the future-unfolding holds :
- A quick developing and large digital economy that brings prospect & the latest Jobs in companies.
- With less physical jobs in Africa, but more digital jobs.
Every Industrial revolution era causes economic development and also creates new challenges which present prospects. What pro-active steps can the nation take while leading the next industrial revolution that will reposition African countries to prepare for the future Industrial Revolution? If Africa is able to have a picture by studying the business challenges, opportunities created, then the nation could stand a chance of being one of the world Powers in the future industrial revolution.