Africa Under the Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Gaps, Strategies, and Strides

Africa Under the Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Gaps, Strategies, and Strides

Innocent Chirisa (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe) and Brilliant Mavhima (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7625-9.ch007
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The chapter stresses that Africa requires a clear position of how “leapfrogging” into the FOIR should be informed by clear and unambiguous policy goals and strategies so that a sustainable development route is created. Political will, global connectivity, and straightforward pathways are fused in the menu. Africa is neither a monolithic nor a homogenous space where events and developments happen in a linear pattern. The traditional perspective about Africa perceives the region as motley of so many variations and controversies – spatial, temporal, gender, racial, and ideological. This is evident from the fact that Africa has portions of its economy that are pre-modern, modern, and post-modern. The “resource curse” phenomenon seems to hold water in both debate and practice in some circles. Countries and states should avoid falling into the proverbial trap of unequal exchange in form of transacting the natural endowments that Africa is known for.
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Conceptual Framework

The chapter is premised on the conceptual framework presented in Figure 1, which shows the three seemingly interlinked components relating to the FOIR. First, are the gaps which exist in any context and which national and local governments grapple with in efforts to have successful FOIR. There are arrays of gaps, which stand in the way of effective FOIR in Africa. Second, there are various strategies, which can be employed to narrow and possibly close these identified gaps. In simple terms, a strategy can be defined as a plan of action, which is intended to attain a specific action in the long-term. Strategies, therefore, are the schemes, plans, policies, schedules, and programs, which are formulated and adopted by national together with the local governments with the intention to close the gaps in different sectors. In actual essence, such strategies may refer to policies or planning and development approaches and paradigm, which take certain issues linked to the gaps and find ways to close these gaps.

Figure 1.

The conceptual framework guiding the study (Authors, 2018)


Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3 highlight the indicators for gaps that African countries have, strategies that African countries have taken and strides that African countries have made in trying to reach the FOIR. The tables focus largely on technology and entrepreneurship gaps, strategies and strides in trying to increase the regional competitiveness of Africa. The innovation and entrepreneurship highlights the key components FOIR.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Modernization: The process of development, moving from an extractive economy towards a more manufacturing kind of economy.

Gap: An existing obstacle to continuous development.

Strategy: An approach used in attaining development progress.

STRIDE: Development progress.

Capitalism: Capitalism is an indirect system of governance for economic relationships.

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