Collaboration with South Africa could drive digital integration across the continent

26 March 2019 2 min. read
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According to analysis from professionals at Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte, policies being implemented in South Africa to promote Industry 4.0 integration are likely to have a positive impact across the rest of Africa as well, primarily due to the collaborative opportunities that are likely to follow. 

Deloitte’s overview of the market is based on analysis in its Tech Trends 2019 report, which examines the latest in technology across South Africa. The President of the country Cyril Ramaphosa has recently initiated a presidential commission to ensure South Africa’s competitiveness under the new industrial revolution.

A number of key transformations are expected to follow as a result, which include the development of intelligent interfaces, the emergence of organisations that operate entirely in the artificial intelligence domain, as well as unprecedented increases in connectivity and marketing opportunities.

Collaboration with South Africa could drive digital integration across the continent

The last of these trends is likely to translate into economic benefits for countries across Africa. The continent is rapidly moving towards connectivity, and is expected to be home to as many as 1 billion mobile internet connections by 2021. Alongside the consumers, businesses in the region are also embracing the wave of digitalisation. 

Reports have suggested that countries such as Nigeria and Kenya are likely to have thriving markets in digital services domains such as cloud computing and cybersecurity, which is brought about by a increasing propensity to spend on digital transformations, even amongst small and medium enterprises.

Prior to the realisation of this interconnected environment, however, experts have urged that the regulatory and business environment within South Africa must be rectified and made more conducive to digital growth. For instance, in the current scenario, an increase in automation will necessarily translate into severe unemployment in the country, unless appropriate skills are developed.

Commenting on the scenario, Kevin Govender, Associate Director at Deloitte Consulting in Africa said, “I think South Africa is an emerging country and has other challenges that first world countries don't have. So there is an opportunity to take those challenges, use innovation and technology with some of these key trends, and how do we transform and grow this economy, this economy as a whole and businesses.”