Africa needs to refocus attention on economic diversification

 

The ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ will offer new opportunities to achieving inclusive and sustainable growth by fast tracking market integration in Africa through industrial corridors and regional integration. The Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa, Dr Rob Davies, says that the current economic climate has forced South Africa and the majority of African countries that are commodity dependent, to refocus their attention on the urgency of economic diversification, revitalisation of manufacturing and innovation.

Davies was speaking during the ‘Investment Dialogue’ session that formed part of Investing in African Mining Indaba programme in Cape Town, yesterday.

Davies further pronounced that the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ the world is currently going through, will offer new opportunities to achieving inclusive and sustainable growth by fast tracking market integration in Africa through industrial corridors and regional integration.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution will have an impact on manufacturing and how things are done in the economy. We need to start preparing ourselves to respond to it,” said Davies.

Furthermore, Davies added that the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will not be limited to the manufacturing area, rather they would extend to service sectors, including e-commerce and the legal and accounting professions.

“We need to understand what the Fourth Industrial Revolution is and unpack how South Africa could benefit from it, especially when it comes to capitalising on innovation. Our country is gearing up collectively between the mining industry, government and labour in preparation of the eminent headwinds in the mining and minerals industry.

“Central to this are the opportunities to extend and strengthen value chains through further downstream manufacturing. Significant value chain opportunities already exist and are being operationalised as set out in the successive iterations of the Industrial Policy Action Plan,” he said.

Minister Davies also stated that beneficiation is no longer something we want to talk about but rather do.

 

CREDIT: BIZCOMMUNITY