I wrote a well-received article in Harvard Business Review which most African policy leaders have circled back to me. In that piece, I posited that pursuing an African industrialization policy that mimics China’s model is hopeless since what made China what it is today would be disintermediated by new technologies. Africa has anchored its industrialization policy on the paradigm that once wage rises in China, the continent would magically pick some opportunities in low skilled manufacturing which have typically moved from US and Western Europe.
However, in my piece, I made the case that those jobs and opportunities may not even leave US and Western Europe because of robots and AI. So, if that is the case, what Africa hopes to happen will not come to pass. China will not get the low level manufacturing opportunities of the future, and Africa will not either. Nonetheless, China is deepening its abilities to become a leader in high skilled manufacturing.
In December, on the invitation of the African Union and Afreximbank, I will speak on AfCFTA and the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) and how our continent can lead into the future. That talk will be in Kigali, Rwanda.
You can read the piece here.
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