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The 4th industrial revolution in Africa: The next great frontier

The 4th industrial revolution in Africa: The next great frontier

By Jacques du Preez

Analysis in brief: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now underway and is set to forever change the way in which economies relate to each other in the global market. This is a vital opportunity for the rapidly developing African economies to assert themselves as vital hubs in the international manufacturing sector.

What is the fourth industrial revolution?

The 4th industrial revolution, otherwise known as the ‘Digital Industrial revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’, or simply ‘4IR’ is a broad term used to describe the ongoing global conversion of labour-intensive manufacturing processes toward incorporating robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, customer service personalisation and other forms of digital innovation, pointing to a future where the knowledge economy and the manufacturing sector are in effect, inseparable. Like earlier industrial revolutions, those quickest to utilise these new technologies will reap the most benefit. Some estimates place the profits reaped by early adopting firms at almost 120%, with a measly 10% for those who only adopt these new technologies later on. Far from being at a disadvantage, Africa’s lack of legacy infrastructure might prove to be a key ingredient in securing its industries’ positions in the new global economy that the 4IR will bring about. Industrial growth in this context can be viewed through two key focus areas: the conventional development of an industrial base and the fostering of a local knowledge economy.



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In On Africa (IOA) Press Release – June 2019

In On Africa (IOA) Press Release – June 2019




In On Africa (IOA) and African Business Magazine announce partnership for the 2019 edition of the Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR) 

In On Africa (IOA) and African Business Magazine, two leading African business information providers, have announced a partnership to produce and deliver the third edition of the Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR). The ACBR is a ground-breaking 500+ page publication, which provides a comprehensive assessment of 54 African countries, to deliver an all-encompassing picture of the African continent.

The report scores, ranks and insightfully assesses each African country holistically, as well as across ACBR’s four ‘quadrants’: Business, Economics, Politics and Society. Hundreds of infographics, more than 25,000 data points, and critical insights make the ACBR an essential tool to better understand Africa.



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Assessment of South Africa’s SME landscape

Assessment of South Africa’s SME landscape

Challenges, Opportunities, Risks and Next Steps

The South African government has prioritised small business development with the objective of creating 11 million jobs by 2030 to reduce the country’s chronic and high unemployment rate, and looking to SMEs to create these jobs and stimulate economic growth. This objective can only be achieved through the establishment of a supportive and enabling environment for the growth of small businesses.

SME SA in collaboration with In On Africa (IOA) has endeavored to assess the current environment in which SMEs operate through executing nationwide research on the sector. The aim of the research was to shed light on the challenges, opportunities and risks that need to be considered in the development of the SME sector to ensure the much needed growth and new employment opportunities in the country.

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The Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR)


The Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR)

The Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR) is the definitive resource for understanding Africa, providing comprehensive assessments of all 54 African countries. The report scores, ranks and insightfully assesses each country holistically, as well as across business, economic, political and social factors, all presented in an 750-page infographic-driven publication.

View the ACBR intro video below or click here for more information on the ACBR.

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