The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is outlined by the combination of different factors such as physical, biological, and digital worlds. Others include the growing adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and robotics.
Advanced wireless technologies and the internet of things, for instance, have introduced a new age of economic interruption with unpredictable socio-economic ramifications for Africa. Africa has lagged in past industrial transformations. How different is the situation bound to be in the future?
Let’s discuss the impact of the fourth wave of digitization and transformation in Africa.
Encourage Structural Transformation and Economic growth
The ICT area in Africa has, in recent years, proliferated – this is only expected to continue.
Today, mobile services and technologies have resulted in up to 1.7 million formal and non-formal jobs. They’ve contributed to approximately $144 billion in economic value, which translates to 8.5% of the sub-Saharan Africa GDP. Further, they’ve contributed up to $15.6 billion through taxation to the public sector. Digitization has played a role in resolving inequality problems in the labor market and the financial system.
As a result, this has boosted certainty, efficiency, and security in an area where information flow is crucial for economic development and job creation. Failing to identify and exploit 4IR opportunities institutes huge risks on African stakeholders.
African businesses should move past existing entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital growth structures in the continent to maintain global competitiveness. Surpassing the existing structures requires restraint in governance to create an innovative internal environment. Further, organizations should safeguard the market through consumer protection regulations and laws that promote competition.
Fighting Inequality and Poverty
The popularity of digital technologies can allow the poor to access job opportunities, information, and services that enhance their living standards. Blockchain, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence can boost data gathering and analysis opportunities. This would result in effective and targeted strategies to reduce poverty.
Currently, Africa has seen the transformative power of established financial services via mobile phones such as M-Pesa. Mobile money transfer services have benefited a large percentage of those in Africa who are critical drivers for eradicating poverty. These financial services help households make savings in safety mechanisms to broaden their assets and run away from poverty.
Recreating Skills, Labor, and Production
Africa’s potential labor force is expected to be among the largest across the globe by 2030. The Internet of Thingsfourth wave of digitization represents a massive opportunity for development, coupled with the required skills and infrastructure for technology and innovation. This digitization is revolutionizing global labor and production systems. Job seekers are required to develop the necessary skills and efficiency.
These will facilitate broad and rapid confirmation of the demands of African institutions and automation.
Currently, Africa’s workforce is becoming more skilled and educated to grab the opportunities granted by the fourth wave of digitization. For instance, the percentage of workers with at least a high school certificate will be 52% more in 2030 compared to 36% in 2010.
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