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Africa needs a Digitalization Strategy to Compete in the Global Economy

Siemens, in conjunction with Frost & Sullivan, have put together a comprehensive research project outlining the current state of key industries across the Continent and identifying challenges and opportunities. The study ‘The dawn of digitalization and its impact on Africa’, considers growth predictions and where the adoption of smart technology would be most beneficial in expanding industries to drive sustainable growth. Focus was placed on 4 key sectors: Water, Manufacturing, Mining & Minerals, and Food & Beverage. Some of the key findings in the report are: – the adoption of digital technologies, innovation as well as a range of digital customer offerings are expected to remain varied across industries, markets and geographies, which is no surprise. Manufacturing, which is the most mature in its transformation and adoption of digital technologies in Africa, remains a marginal player struggling to make a bigger impact on national GDP.

Last month we reported that the regional body COMESA (Southern and Eastern Africa) has introduced a tool developed by UNCTAD to identify non-tariff barriers (NTB) to trade. If you would like to report any NTB  please use this link

The World Economic Forum is holding its annual Africa conference in the first week in September in Cape Town. The Department of Science and Innovation will hold a fringe meeting at the WEF on the 3rd September on “Making sure a human-centred 4IR happens”. I will be attending and look forward to hearing what is discussed. Unfortunately the meeting clashes with the major Leaderex  event in Johannesburg which will be concentrating on robotics, ecommerce and 4IR that week.

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