Digital Africa on Technology and Industry 4.0
According to the January 2019 report of Canadian based social media management platform Hootsuite, Africa’s 1.3 billion population has surpassed Middle East’s 256.6 million in embracing digital adaptation.
From having limited technological resources, the world’s 2nd largest continent is fast becoming tech savvy in a short span of time, relatively far away from an era wherein small and medium enterprises’ norm of doing business was predominantly manual. Today, Africa’s trade owners are known for embracing messaging tools such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as part of their day to day communication processes.
Hootsuite likewise stated that African countries notably Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia made it to the top 10 countries with mobile connectivity garnering the 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th spots respectively. Thanks to a 3rd of its population, the Millennials, who are beginning to join its workforce.
Hassanein Alwan, Mineral Circles Bearings (MCB) Managing Director says, “Digital innovation has been positive for Africa. From having no access to advanced technologies to suddenly having mobile, broadband, and social media connection, it is fast becoming digital which is relatively good for their business and for ours.”
For the past years, MCB has increased its sales and marketing digitalization efforts which contributed to a record breaking 155% increase in lead generation from 2017-2018.
Industry 4.0 in Business
In this era of Industry 4.0 where Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and Blockchain are fast becoming the core driving force in all lines of businesses especially in the UAE, MCB’s Alwan believes that adapting new technologies is the way to go. He mentions, “MEA is a region to watch out for in the future. Undeniably, the 4th industrial revolution is here and it is here to stay. While it is at its infancy, companies must rethink about implementing “out of the box” business processes and cutting edge smart solutions.