Sabine Dall’Omo, the chief executive of Siemens Southern Africa writes about what could be achieved if lack of access to power was no longer an issue. (File Picture: ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - What if Africa's young population is given access to training to capitalise on the opportunity presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What could be achieved if lack of access to power was no longer an issue on the African continent?

And what if unethical governance and business practices were finally eradicated? Well, then it is highly likely the African continent will move into a position of strong growth and even global leadership.

It could be said that the focus of the agenda at Davos is related to issues predominantly applicable to the developed world.

Countries turning inward with nationalistic regimes gaining ground and refugees being refused exile. Ageing populations with a skill set that looks set to become redundant. This week as world leaders gather, they’ll be grappling with how to reorganise themselves in an increasingly fractious world.

However, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the ability to positively disrupt and improve the growth trajectory of emerging and developing economies in Africa, but only if it is approached with a human-centric approach.

In Africa, the population is young, increasingly digitally-savvy and nimble. Consistent and relevant upskilling is the key to ensuring the workforce keeps pace and is prepared for the evolving employment landscape.

Siemens in Africa has for many years been an active contributor and supporter of education and skills development on the continent. We are working closely with industry and governments to develop the talents needed to grow technological development in our continent. And we believe this Business to Society approach will create measurable and lasting impact.

The other consideration is energy. Generating clean and efficient energy on the continent is intrinsically linked to future growth. We believe adding gas-to-power generation to the energy mix will be a major economic prosperity driver.

It holds the potential to attract billions in foreign direct investment, in addition to creating thousands of jobs throughout the entire energy value chain. Electrification becomes a catalyst for industrialisation which in turn leads to job creation and socio-economic prosperity.

So my hope is that African leaders will leave the World Economic Forum with practical and actionable strategies and partnerships that will allow the continent to reach its potential.

Sabine Dall’Omo is the chief executive of Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

- BUSINESS REPORT