Case Study: Unlocking the Potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa

Project Duration

1 February to 30 June 2019

Project Description

Research ICT Africa was a consortium partner in charge of regulatory aspects related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and of the South African country report in this study funded by the African Development Bank.

The South Africa Country Case Study on the potential of the 4IR was authored by Alison Gillwald, Enrico Calandro, Francie Sadeski and Matthieu Lacave.

The report argues that the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents a vital opportunity for industrial development in South Africa. However, the 4IR is also likely to marginalise the poor and the disadvantaged who will not be able to keep abreast of rapid technological advancement and innovation. The use of 4IR technologies can make farming more efficient and cost-effective and increase yields whilst reducing costs. Furthermore, there is a significant gap to be addressed by connecting small-scale farmers to the agribusiness and to commercial agriculture and by giving them access to the necessary technologies to improve productivity and increase outputs. With regard to regional integration, if the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region priorities to unlock the Fourth Industrial Revolution are related to digital infrastructure and connectivity, affordability, skills and awareness, entrepreneurial development and local content.