Africa’s journey toward Fourth Industrial Revolution begins with youth


Johannesburg – The first step of Africa’s journey toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a focus on the youth, according to Huawei’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Scanlan. 

Scanlan was speaking at AfricaCom telecoms and technology conference, currently being held in Cape Town, when he stressed that driving change in the ICT industry began with the youth. 

“The youth drives change and we have to put a focus on providing services for them. If we do not focus on the youth we miss opportunities,” Scanlan said.

The World Economic Forum recently dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution as the equivalent to unexplored growth in the digitalisation and internet connectivity.

To create better access to telecommunications for Africa and other parts of the world, Scanlan said that Huawei adopted its ROADS (Real-time; On-Demand; All-online; DIY and Social) strategies to optimise service experience for telecoms users.

“We have to be mindful of user behaviour changes, strive for ubiquitous connectivity, provide real-time, intelligent services and pay attention to [the] analysis of our markets,” he added. 

Scanlan said that being the majority of the African population creating solutions for the youth was key as the world moved toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

“It is not just about people needing broadband, it is also about what that broadband can do for them. There are so many cases around the world where once access to the internet was provided to a city that previously did not have it, there were now opportunities to generate revenue.”

“The internet can give young people and startups an opportunity to grow and generate an income,” he said.

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