Africa can’t afford to play small in 4th Industrial Revolution

Africa cannot afford to play small in this 4th industrial revolution, Said, Claver Gatete, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa,

Speaking on the opening of the 44th session of the Executive Council of the African Union Commission held at in Addis Ababa, Claver Gatete stated that, Africa must be drivers or miss yet another opportunity.

 “We are witnessing a digital shift in the global workforce. But Africa only accounts for 0.1 percent of global innovation. “And our expenditure on research and development averages only 0.45 percent of GDP. “

Africa’s share of the global patent application is only 0.5 percent, when compared to 66.8 percent for Asia, And Africa can build technological capabilities that foster value addition in strategic sectors like agribusiness, manufacturing, green transitions, global health, he said.

He noted that, governments can foster partnerships between industries and educational institutions so that curricula align with job markets. And improvements in the efficiency of educational spending and investments through strengthened performance accountability frameworks can also yield results.

Cross-continental educational networks can promote intra-Africa knowledge sharing and mutual recognition of education and training systems and qualifications he added.

He underlined, closing the digital gender divide must be everyone’s priority because it is just and makes economic sense.

Claver Gatete noted that, the Sustainable industrialization and economic diversification remain the most promising channels for jobs and wealth creation.

According to him, stressed the need for Innovation to to achieve this. And improvement in education, especially investments in STEM and TVET are sine qua non to building the requisite productive capabilities.

He further stated that, to make the African Continental Free Trade Area work, we need a skills revolution underpinned by science, technology, engineering and innovation.

Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa he added.

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