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Digitalisation could give Africa a US$300 million boost

Digitisation could give Africa a US0 million boost

Africa's economy stands to gain a potential US$300 million by 2026 through the adoption of digitalisation in industrial sectors.

This is according to the Siemens 2017 African Digitalisation Maturity Report which has found that digital technology will drive African development rather than disrupt it and "future business leaders will be drawn from the 200 million African aged between 15 and 25 who are early adopters of technology."

The Report measures the extent to which African countries have the business, legal and regulatory environments to support digitalisation, as well as infrastructure indicators – such as access to international bandwidth, mobile network coverage and mobile phone penetration, costs of broadband and mobile phone access.

Siemens said it reviewed Africa's manufacturing, energy and transport industries, based on their culture of innovation, digital operations and digital customer offerings.

The company described South Africa as 'Africa's digitalisation leader' because of its diverse economy and high quality broadband infrastructure.

Siemens suggests digitalisation has the potential to address ongoing challenges within Africa, including unstable and costly power supply. "Adoption of digital technologies can enable and support decentralised power generation using renewable energy, combined with intelligent grid management."

In her foreword published in the Report, Sabine Dall'Omo, Siemens CEO, Southern and Eastern Africa, says if Africa is to compete in the digital age, a shift in traditional thinking is required. If the continent is able to foster collaboration in order to change mindsets, implement policy and encourage knowledge sharing and execution, it is likely that digitalisation will happen rapidly.

In a statement Siemens also mentioned global concern over the impact of automation and digitalisation on jobs.

"Digitalisation does not mean an economy needs to suffer direct job losses," the company added. " Instead of making an employee obsolete, digital technology redefines the role of the worker, often leading to greater skills development. This essentially means that humans and machines are not competing for jobs, but working together and creating a new type of talent."

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