AFRICA URGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

DURBAN, Africa should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the unfolding digital revolution to create more entrepreneurs than job seekers through skills development and innovation, says South African President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing the Terminal Operators’ Conference (TOC) Africa here Tuesday, he said Africa had a youth bulge and could not remain behind in the development of the digital revolution.

It is, therefore, imperative that government, the private sector and all our stakeholders continue to work together for a better African continent, President Zuma said.

TOC Africa was attended by experts and investors involved in logistics, liner shipping, ports, terminals, inland transport and equipment manufacturers to discuss improving trade flows across the continent. The conference is in line with the country’s policy focus of contributing towards a prosperous continent through, among others, increase in intra-Africa trade.

The reality is that the movement of goods, services and means of production within the continent is hindered by the lack of sufficient infrastructure. I am leading efforts through the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative to ensure that there is economic connectivity in our continent, and your presence complements these endeavours, President Zuma said.

He added that once the continent gets the infrastructure right it will see results in terms of foreign direct investment. The ongoing policy reforms that enhance the ease of doing business on the continent will also contribute immensely to the competitiveness of Africa.

The President said another critical need is for Africa to derive value from the maritime industry and develop the oceans economy. South Africa is already promoting the development of its oceans economy sector through the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy Programme.

Operation Phakisa is a fast results delivery programme launched in July 2014 to help South Africa implement the National Development Plan, with the ultimate goal of boosting economic growth and create jobs.

In 2015, the ocean contributed about 60 billion Rand (about 4.46 billion US dollars) to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and accounted for about 397,000 jobs.

We believe that the future potential of the ocean economy is highly concentrated within marine transport and manufacturing activities, such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment, he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK