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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

African countries have the potential to “leapfrog” the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Countries across Africa have the potential to “leapfrog” the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with their “strong economic growth, increasing regional economic integration and diversification and young entrepreneurial demographic,” Dow Chemical’s president of sub-Saharan Africa Craig Arnold writes for the World Economic Forum. The key to this growth, Arnold says, is doubling down on boosting manufacturing by creating an attractive investment climate and carefully crafting public policy that can support industry. That includes good governance, a regulatory environment that helps rather than hampers investment, and a legislative framework that protects investors.

But it’s not just any manufacturing: Arnold says that African countries need to focus on “advanced manufacturing” as opposed to “sub-optimal scale manufacturing.” This means the development of a high value-added industrial base capable of supplying the world with cutting edge technologies. How do we do this? By sourcing cheap and reliable energy supplies, increasing trade, investing in education and training, building efficient relationships between public and private sectors, and optimizing the usage of resources, he says.

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