Kenewendo pins hope on industrial revolution

28th June 2018
Minister Bogolo Kenewendo Source:The Midweek Sun


By Sun Reporter - Reporter

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo says the fourth industrial revolution presents opportunities for countries like Botswana to deal with a number of problems, among them high levels of unemployment.

Kenewendo was speaking at the 48th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland on the future of work, Artificial Intelligence, challenges and opportunities of job creation in the fourth industrial revolution. “We see the fourth industrial revolution as a potential, we see opportunities for us to deal with the challenges that we have not been able to deal with to date,” she told delegates at the symposium. 

Kenewendo further said Botswana is readying herself to take advantage of the demographic dividend that will be presented by the growth in population in Africa. It is said that Africa will have the largest population of young people by 2100 and will contribute 80 percent of the four billion rise in global population by that time.

“This is the demographic dividend we want to harness.” She appealed to the international business community as well as young people to take advantage of opportunities that arise from industrial revolution. “We recognise that innovation and productivity are keys to unlock high growth and catapult us to even become a high income country,” Kenewendo said.

“I am inviting you to invest in Botswana and unlock the possibilities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.” Kenewendo urged those that are threatened by the digital divide to see opportunities, especially those that have been traditionally excluded and left behind. “We are all looking towards working together as government, private sector and all to ensure that the forth industrial revolution helps take us to where we want to be.”

President-Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeremy Rifkin said at the symposium that currently, global GDP has been slowing atleast for the last 10 years, economies project 20 more years of low productivity and high unemployment especially for millennial, and in addition climate change is a real challenge.
He said to counter these challenges, world leaders need to come up with a compelling economic vision for the world. He said there is need for a game plan to deliver on that vision and it needs to be quick.

“It needs to move as quick in the developing world just as in industrialised economies,” he said, adding, “We need to step back here at St Gallen and ask the question how do we create economic paradigm shifts?” The Gallen Symposium is an intergenerational, interdisciplinary symposium that focuses on the following, individual’s response to changing technology; challenges it poses to society; business’s response and ability to create disruption through technology and the role of government in education policies and job creation. The symposium creates relevant debates between leaders of today and future leaders.

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