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Made in Africa: Manufacturing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This report investigates Africa’s manufacturing future. It discusses and then models the potential impact of the fourth industrial revolution, with a time horizon to 2040. Africa has a large and fast-growing population. Because of this, the continen…

Mining the Socio-economic Benefits of the Extractive Industries

The convergence of political, economic, social and environmental dynamics is accelerating in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this new world of ‘always on’ technology the mining sector, like many others, needs to adapt and align with …

Emerging and Exponential Technologies: New Opportunities for Low-Carbon Development

This paper discusses how new technologies can contribute to achieving climate change goals in developing countries, focusing on how emerging and exponential technologies can support, and potentially accelerate, the implementation of Nationally Det…

Mining for a Circular Economy in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Case of South Africa

Mining is not typically associated with visions of a circular economy, where waste is transformed into inputs for ecologically safe outputs. But if the world is to transition to a low-carbon future – a fundamental imperative if we are to avoid war…

Fourth Industrial Revolution: What's in it for African Women?

The world of work is undergoing a revolutionary change with advances in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of ‘big data’. While there are emerging debates around Africa’s role within this evolving technological context, very litt…

Harnessing the 4IR in SADC: Roles for Policymakers

This paper maps SADC countries’ readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution from a strategic policy perspective. It focuses specifically on the digital connectivity and skills components of the 4IR, given their role in creating an enabling enviro…

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent 2020 to 2030

In Chapter 1, our experts discuss how the next 10 years of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will shape policy priorities for African governments and their partners. Progress has been uneven both across countries and across goals, often hinde…

Capturing the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Regional and National Agenda

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)— 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 …

The Concept of a Just Transition is as Relevant to the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it is for the Move towards a Low Carbon Economy

Two parallel developments are taking place in Africa that are of key significance to workers. The first one is the concerted effort to move the national economies from depending on fossil-based energy to a clean low-carbon energy. The second is the …

The Digital Revolution, Open Science and Innovation for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

The last two decades have experienced an explosive global growth of powerful digital technologies for communication, data acquisition, computation, artificial intelligence and unrestrained information broadcasting. Together they constitute a “digita…

4IR and Water Smart Agriculture in Southern Africa: A Watch List of Key Technological Advances

This paper considers the relevance of the recent wave of technological advances – so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies – for the agricultural sector in drought-prone countries of Southern Africa. The resulting ‘watch list’ of technolo…

The Public-private: A Key Legal Nexus for South Africa's AI Future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here; but what ‘here’ means is very different according to the country in which it is being implemented or explored. In South Africa, a data controversy relating to the commercial use of the national social grants dis…

Making South Africa's Migration to Fourth Industrial Revolution Just for Workers: A Lesson from the Just Energy Transition Framework to a Low-carbon Economy

Two parallel developments are taking place in South Africa that are of key significance to workers. On the one hand are calls for a move from traditional fossil-fuel energy generation to a greener, cleaner low carbon emissions energy generation. On …

The Potential Employment Implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies: The Case of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector

In this paper we examine the potential employment displacement effects of technologies related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the MER sector, by observing this risk through the lens of the task-content of occupations or the routinisati…

Telecommunication Ecosystem Evolution in Kenya 2009-2019: Setting the Pace and Unbundling the Turbulent Journey to a Digital Economy in a 4IR Era

Telecommunications and ICTs impact Kenyans’ daily socio-economic endeavours in work, commerce, health, and education, and is the gateway to a bright future for Kenya to continue to deliver innovative new e-government services; where the imaginations…

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