The world is on the verge of a major revolution; while developed countries are keeping pace with major technological
advancement, developing countries, mostly in Africa, are still making efforts to industrialise their economies, trying to map their way out of the extractive sector.
Nonetheless, not all is lost, given the fluid nature of technology; there are opportunities for developing countries to catch up. The good news is that there is realisation in developing countries of the vital role technology can place in alleviating some of the teething development challenges weighing down their prospects for growth. Stakeholders and the Namibian Government are keenly aware of the crucial role the ICT sector can play in speeding up development in Namibia.
In his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, acknowledges that the world is at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.
Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing, intelligent robots, Self-driving cars, Neuro-technological brain enhancements, Genetic editing, are all evidence of dramatic change around us and it’s happening at exponential speed, Klaus acknowledges.
It goes without saying that economically superior countries are those who have embraced and enhanced technology in almost all areas of economic activities.
Like many African countries, Namibia’s Vision 2030 could have been conceived before major technological advancements, it’s however, increasingly clear now that its realisation can be accelerated and enabled by the use of technology, but only if Namibia, at policy level, can jump onto the band wagon and move in the direction technology is driving the world.
The industrial revolution, liberated mankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different.
The advancement in technologies now offers opportunities for low and medium income countries to make use of ICT; these technologies have been experiencing progressive diffusion at various paces in different countries and for different tools. In the case of mobile phones it has been surprisingly fast and socially widespread.