JOHANNESBURG – Early September in Cape Town means one thing – and it’s not the rites of spring. It’s something bigger: the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which will draw 1000-odd business executives, academics, politicians and celebrities from around the world.
And with a theme of ‘Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, this edition of WEF could be pivotal to the future of the entire continent.
Right now, we’re seeing significant political and socio-economic change across Africa – and most of it is for the good. At a time when the rest of the world is fragmenting, Africa is embracing multilateralism on an unprecedented scale. The continent’s new free trade bloc of more than 50 countries will open up a market of more than 1.2 billion consumers, give it a unified voice on the global stage, and dramatically boost infra-African trade.
At the same time, the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, and its associated technologies, is transforming every aspect of our lives. Modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the potential to foster development on an unprecedented scale.
In Africa, AI’s potential is limitless. It can solve a host of business and societal challenges, from providing better healthcare and basic services to creating more efficient governments, and helping businesses become intelligent enterprises that drive growth and prosperity.