Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


SA president backs 4IR to assist economic recovery

Article Image
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged his Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to place 4IR at the center of South Africa's economic recovery.

"South Africa must be a more technologically driven country that finds solutions that move us forward, with 4IR as a pivot for economic recovery," Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the government.

He believes 4IR can help the country to emerge from the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SA's economy has been hit hard by the virus and the strict lockdown implemented by government to try curb the spread of the virus.

The country's unemployment rate was already high before the virus hit, at about 30%, and the health crisis has only made it worse.

A report last month, the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, estimated that 3 million people lost their jobs between February and April as a result of the pandemic, with women making up 2 million of those affected.

On Friday, South Africa's COVID-19 death toll had risen above 9,600, while more than 538,000 people had contracted the virus since the first case reported on March 5, with over 387,300 recoveries reported.

South Africa has recorded the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 cases globally, behind the US and SA's BRICS comrades Brazil, India and Russia.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa  (Source: GCIS)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
(Source: GCIS)

4IR is a pet project of Ramaphosa's. In early 2019, he announced the 30-member commission tasked with helping government take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital revolution, and to identify relevant policies, strategies and action plans that will position South Africa as a competitive global player.

On Thursday a report by the Commission was presented to the president by Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the communications and digital technologies minister, and professor Tshilidzi Marwala, deputy chairperson of the commission.

"The landmark report is a product of extensive research and multi-sectoral engagements held by the commissioners since their appointment by President Ramaphosa in 2019," the presidency said in a statement.

Now the commission will present the report to cabinet, and it will then be published.

"Following its publication, the report will form the basis of a national discussion on how all sectors of society can contribute to a technologically enabled future that brings about greater economic and social inclusion, and enhances the competitiveness of the South African economy," the presidency added.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.


Côte d'Ivoire e-health platform Orange Santé launched

Pan-African operator Orange has partnered with Moroccan start-up DabaDoc to create an e-health platform to help Ivorians book doctor’s appointments online.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.


Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up