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Tap into the immense opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution, experts urge African countries

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Social Media Week; Nigeria and other African countries have been called to tap into the immense opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to remain competitive and develop.

The submission by experts were made yesterday at the on-going Social Media Week (SMW) Lagos 2019, where they condemned the increasing consumption of foreign technologies and other wares at the expense of indigenous productions.

The 4th Industrial Revolution, also known as Globalisation 4.0 is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as Blockchain; Internet of Things; Machine Learning; Artificial Intelligence; Driverless car and Augmented Realty, among others, would dictate the pace of development among nations.

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It builds on the digital revolution, representing new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even the human body.

According to experts at a panel session, with the theme: “Edtech and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa,” it is high time, Africa starts to produce and consume its own technology so as not to be left behind in the emerging revolution.

The Edtech & the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa will took an in-depth look on the roles EDTech companies, solutions and contents will play in spurring African education and capacity building, thus re-positioning Africa.

The panelists said that African policy makers had yet to fully embrace the digitisation of the continent and the transformation it would bring with it.

They claimed that in order to be certain about Africa’s preparedness for the jobs of the future which would surely come with the 4th Industrial Revolution, “we need to make sure that the educational system is completely transformed.”

Chief Executive Officer, STEM Mets Resources, Mrs. Jadesola Adedeji, said that Africa needed to harness the opportunities in the digital age by learning to create its own technology instead of being consumers of foreign technology.

“We need to take the lead in terms of innovations by training the young ones to be technology-inclined at a very early age,” she said.

Also, Joseph Agunbiade, the Chancellor of Univelcity, said that in spite of missing out from the first industrial revolution, Nigeria should strive to key into the 4th revolution by redeveloping its framework in terms of leveraging on technology.

“We need to start using technology to produce our own food, computers, phones and other indigenous innovations so that we do not end up as slaves to developed countries.

“In the fourth industrial revolution, it would be more about machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things. It will not be about just learning codes, so we need to be more prepared as a country to be able to handle this type of technology, ’’ he said.

Co-founder Acadaplus Solutions, Stephen Ovadje, noted that very soon 65 per cent of Africans would be doing jobs that would soon vanish; which made it necessary to prepare our children for the upcoming technological breakthroughs.

“The education system needs to intensify efforts to make sure that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are made compulsory in schools, so that our children can have enough knowledge in that regard, he said.

Co-founder Prepclass NG Ltd., Chukwuwezam Obanor, said that Africa could not avoid missing the fourth industrial revolution and advised that it was necessary to take control of the narrative by situating ourselves in the right position.

“We need to evolve in terms of leveraging on technology so that we can compete with countries like India and China where technology has made tremendous impact on their economy,” he said.

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