EC experts to serve on Ramaphosa’s commission on fourth industrial revolution

East Cape IT executive and futurist to help shape future

PREMIUM


In the future, school pupils of today will not compete with their classmates for jobs and business but will compete with people sitting in China, Europe, the US and the rest of Africa – that is the reality of the fourth industrial revolution.
This is according to Alice-born NMU masters graduate Baxolile Mabinya who, along with Port Elizabeth-based professional futurist and NMU professor Chris Adendorff, has been selected as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commission on the fourth industrial revolution.
The aim of the commission is to recommend plans, policies and strategies to position SA as a key and competitive player in the globalised digital space.
Ramaphosa will chair the 30-member commission, the presidency announced in a statement on Tuesday.
With a core background in computer science, business strategy and management, Mabinya was the Middle East and Africa group managing executive for telecommunications at Dimension Data before he co-launched software training institute Deviare.
He has more than 12 years’ experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) arena and is working towards building a school that will teach young people computer science and philosophy, drawing on influences from Asia and Africa.
Mabinya, who said he was excited and humbled to have been chosen by the president, said he believes a critical focus for the commission must be to ensure that people have the skills not only to be able to survive in their jobs domestically, but to be able to compete at a global level.
“The reality of the fourth industrial revolution is that it creates a global platform of competition.
“We are still the most unequal society in the world.
“We have a fundamental issue when it comes to unemployment, particularly for our youth.
“This becomes enhanced with the fourth industrial revolution and the threat of loss of jobs. It’s really an honour to have the opportunity to be able to bring my experiences and knowledge into a platform to shape the future of the country and hopefully make a difference,” Mabinya said.
Adendorff specialises in future studies, scenario and strategic planning, governments and turnaround strategies, and he lectures and promotes future studies, foresight for development and entrepreneurship at various universities and organisations around the world.
Along with core business development and the digital trade, the fourth industrial revolution, he said, included preserving the environment and the future of the earth.
Adendorff said he believed the purpose of the commission was to prepare South Africans for what the future holds – to prepare the millions who still don’t have access to basic necessities such as energy, water and sanitation.
“There is a lot of pressure on SA, but it’s very exciting that our president has taken this initiative and is making use of foresight.
“Of the 197 countries around the globe, there are only about 20 countries that actually have commissions for the fourth industrial revolution.
“Many of our people in rural communities still don’t have Wi-Fi, let alone energy.
“The solutions and hope are there. We just need to bring these strategies right down to the poorest of the poor.”
In his state of the nation address in February, Ramaphosa emphasised the need for the country to adapt to and take advantage of the revolutionary advances in technology.
“Unless we adapt, unless we understand the nature of the profound change that is reshaping our world and unless we readily embrace the opportunities it presents, the promise of our nation’s birth will forever remain unfulfilled,” Ramaphosa said at the time.
“Today we choose to be a nation that is reaching into the future.
“In doing so, we are building on a platform of extraordinary scientific achievement,” he said. –

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