• August 4th, 2020

Youth must embrace fourth industrial revolution

Steven Klukowski

KEETMANSHOOP - Deputy international relations minister Christine //Hoebes said young people need to re-orient themselves from being consumers of technology and migrate to using technology to develop solutions for today’s problems.

She made these remarks during the seventh installation of the Dr Theo Ben Gurirab Lecture Series in Keetmanshoop at the weekend.

“It should be acknowledged that the creativity, energy and innovation of African youth will be the driving force behind the continental’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation,” she said.  

Referring to the current lecture’s theme: ‘Youth and Technology’, //Hoebes explained it entails how to harness technology in preparing the youth for the Africa free trade agreement. She was furthermore optimistic that Africa has the opportunity to produce a larger workforce supporting fewer children and elderly, allowing the continent to lower the dependency burden and, moreover, freeing up resources for development and the improvement of productivity.

The deputy minister then informed the targeted audience of learners that the world is undergoing a disruptive, yet exciting, digital revolution. “Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, demographic changes, globalisation and social developments will at the end transform every workplace,” she explained. //Hoebes further described the current Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as an intervention that will alter people’s lives in terms of how they live, work and communicate. “Educating for skills and competencies necessary for this industrial revolution is, thus, imperative,” she added. 

She then acknowledged that talks of AI and the event of the 4IR has however created fear in developed countries of losing jobs, due to robots and machines and technological advances that are stifling economic growth. “On the contrary, Africa may well be able to benefit from these technologies in ways that are not envisaged in more developed economies,” she assured. //Hoebes then cautioned that the continent should be able to avoid the expensive roll-out of outdated technologies and leapfrog to the latest innovation.

“Despite the concern that the relatively unskilled African workforce will be left out of the knowledge economy, advances in technology make it possible for niche businesses to access their clients efficiently,” she reasoned. 

Staff Reporter
2020-02-24 07:36:08 | 5 months ago

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