SA uses WEF to boost adoption of new technology

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South Africa is using the World Economic Forum to seek inputs on its strategy to boost the country’s adoption in new technology.

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says South Africa will host the Digital Economic Summit in March to develop the country’s plan on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum is: Globalisation 4.0 – Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The theme puts advancement in technology at the centre of the discussions.

South Africa hopes the gathering will help it get a better handle on the fast changing technology, its challenges and opportunities.

One of the problems facing the country is technological innovation that is outpacing skills development.

On the other hand, new technology has created a lot of insecurity in the labour market and in some parts of the world it has seen machines replace human beings on the factory floors.

This means that only those who are trained and embrace the latest technology will be relevant in the future labour market.

Ndabeni-Abrahams says given South Africa’s challenges, the country plans to draft its master plan on the adoption of new technology.

But in South Africa, the high cost of data remains a stumbling block to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Education must also change to produce new skills however others are concerned that the Fourth Industrial Revolution could erode privacy and protection of data.

Eileen Donahoe from the University of Stanford has warned that some people feel threatened by the some of the advancements in new technology.

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