7 ways how Africa can lead the next industrial revolution

The world is entering one of the most exciting eras of technology. Globally, we are now in another stage of the Industrial revolution. Despite having a poor track record and jobs in Africa, a renewed desire for industrialisation is animating development & policy debates. The opportunities are endless in smart cities, smart energy power grids, smart agriculture, building secured Govt. Services and developing an effective globally competitive technology industry. These opportunities have the ability to create new jobs in Africa, fuel GDP and improve economies in the countries. Now the question is- Do African Countries have a role to play, considering its enormous possibilities? The fourth Industrial revolution is here and Africa has an opportunity to boost its economy and prospects of jobs in Africa, if the right things are done.

When looking at the next industrial revolution, it usually has a disruptive effect on all economies. Yet, there are 3 key aspects which need to be considered when it comes to Africa:

  • Public-private partnerships are powerful levers for growth
  • Industries are being rattled digitally and
  • Development of digital skills is pre-eminent

The Industrial Revolution is completely focused around connecting the Biological, Physical and Digital and bringing greater opportunity. The next Revolution is already on focus us as Disruptive Technologies like Cloud technology, IoT, Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Genome, Humanoid robots, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Block chain, Telecom Innovations, 3D printing, Nano-medicine, to mention a few, are already altering the way people run their businesses and live their lives.

History shows us that developed Countries like Britain, USA etc., which initiated or earlier joined Industrial Revolutions, became well-known world powers, so there is a strong need for the continent/ African Countries to step forward to lead the way in the next Industrial revolution.

Some of the steps and 7 innovative ways how Africa can lead the next industrial revolution should include:

  1. Complete know-how and Awareness of the Digital Economy
  2. Update, Modernize and Redesign of Industrial related policies as well as regulations to Leverage the next industrial revolution.
  3. Build Smart Connectivity to enable IoT (Internet of Things) networks and Smart cities; don’t depend on the existing and overwhelmed Telecom operators.
  4. Capacity Building on Disruptive Technologies; BlockChain, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-Things, etc.
  5. Increase support and finance for research, new invention and development
  6. Build digital infrastructure and tap the power of ICT (information and communication technologies).
  7. Invest in young people in the form of education, skills development to enable them to be part of the growing technology sector, Agriculture, Industry and ICT sectors. The gap between the skills required and skills administered is greater in the African countries than in any other region in the world.

These steps will provide guidance and systematic steps for governments to tap the power of new trends, techniques and build infrastructure that will help transform how they operate and deliver modernized service to their citizens. It is also projected that IR will significantly impact Africa arising from the need to seamlessly bring opportunities as hiring in Africa,  latest Jobs in companies, plus connect and transact business with foreign organizations already leveraging Disruptive Technologies and Know-hows. This will usher in the ‘Business unusual’ era.

Technology advances can make it possible for niche businesses to access their clienteles efficiently. For instance- the use of social media as a marketing tool for the myriad of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that continent is famous for can enhance sales without excessive costs. New applications also create new opportunities and Jobs in Africa.

In short, the future-unfolding holds:

  • A faster developing and large digital economy that brings opportunity and latest Jobs in companies.
  • With less physical jobs in Africa, but more digital jobs.
  • An increasing skilled global population due to improvements in nutrition, health- technology and skill development programs.

Every Industrial revolution era causes economic advancement and also creates new challenges which present opportunities. What pro-active steps can the nation take while leading the next industrial revolution that will re position Africa 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.