The Fourth Industrial Revolution at first glance can easily be misinterpreted into a buzzword that emerges out of the abyss, before being flung around and then disappearing back again just as quickly as it arrived. But no, the I4.0 is a reality, it is a paradigm that is unfolding here and now, and is changing completely revitalising the manufacturing and production supply chain.
The I4.0 characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological, and physical worlds, as well as the growing utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and advanced wireless technologies, among others—has ushered in a new era of economic disruption with uncertain socio-economic consequences for Africa.
“I4.0 is the soul of the digital era,” pointed out Doug Hunter, the Head of Customer and Ecosystem Enablement at Syspro Africa. “I4.0 is about automation, allowing quick changes of setup, and being able to monitor quality and the process itself,” he continued.
The quick changes of set and monitoring imply that a human workforce will not be able to adapt, this is not true. By 2030, Africa’s potential workforce will be among the world’s largest, and so, paired with the needed infrastructure and skills for innovation and technology use, the 4IR represents a massive opportunity for growth.
Indeed, the 4IR is dramatically changing global systems of labor and production, requiring that job seekers cultivate the skills and capabilities necessary for adapting rapidly to the needs of African firms and automation more broadly.
The CIO Africa Industry 4.0 forum lived up to its expectation and proved to be an unparalleled meeting place for decision-makers, manufacturing and production managers, digital leaders, and other business professionals to share knowledge and experience in optimising the production in the age of technology.
The forum has presented a unique opportunity for learning, exchanging opinions, and expanding one’s network, enabled by live presentations – providing the attendees with valuable insights from specialists in the sphere of digital technologies.