Unpacking SA’s digital readiness for 4IR

Unpacking SA’s digital readiness for 4IR

The IDC joined Brand South Africa in a workshop where stakeholders unpacked South Africa’s digital readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The workshop was used as a platform for business & government to discuss Africa’s readiness to adapt to the requirements of the 4IR. Follow the conversation. In her opening remarks, IDC’s Divisional Executive for Corporate Affairs, Ms. Zama Luthuli, said the outcomes of the discussions will serve as a buildup to the bigger World Economic Forum Africa event that will take place in September this year.

The theme for the workshop was ‘Responding to the Emergence and Impact of the 4IR’, with a key objective of interrogating the ‘African Digital Economy’ to establish what Industry 4.0 is, and to unpack its implications for government, business, and society at large. General Manager for Research at BrandSA, Dr. Petrus de Kock, said it was important to safeguard the human development agenda in the digital age, “We need to create our society.

Transformation of our society relies on two things: digital transformation and human development” he said. Elsie Kanza, head of WEF Africa, spoke on the significance of bringing the African continent on board digital transformation, “It’s important that we ‘Africanise’ the 4IR and find our own way of interpreting it to have the greatest understanding and impact on our communities” Kanza said. One of the digital entrepreneurs who attended some of the workshop’s panels, Rapelang Rabana, said the country needs to scale innovation, and use start-ups as a source for disruptive business models, as this is crucial for driving new market innovations and are essential for inclusive growth. “We really need to change what is happening in our environment if we want to capture the benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution” Rabana said.


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