Youth must lead fourth industrial revolution

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Young people must lead South Africa’s drive to advance, shape and win the fourth industrial revolution, says Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

They must point the way to the future and must be unafraid to propose bold ideas and tools with which to pursue them.

“The challenge before all of us, and the challenge for you is to build economies and societies which equip young people with the tools and ecosystems to create and take advantage of economic opportunities,” Gigaba said on Wednesday.

The Minister was speaking at the 4th BRICS Youth Summit underway in Bela Bela, Limpopo, under the theme ‘Radical Economic Transformation - Making the New Development Bank Work for the Youth’.

Gigaba told the youth that there is huge opportunity to use the BRICS partnership to reshape global trade patterns to accelerate and deepen the country’s development.

This is imperative as by 2050, Africa will have one of the largest workforces in the world, with one billion young people.

As such, Gigaba said the country’s education systems need to adapt to these changes and to empower the youth for their current and future role to lead these dynamic societies and changes. This can be done by investing massively in teaching youth STEM subjects and core 4th industrial revolution skills like software programming, coding and advanced manufacturing. 

“To dramatically scale up our education and training systems to cover this many young people, we will need to find innovative ways to deliver education.

“Education will need to become more interactive, to leverage technology and remote learning, and to become cheaper to deliver if we are to cover all our young people. We will need to get business heavily involved in shaping university and college curricula.”

Furthermore, South Africa needs to grow faster to create opportunities for the many young people who are unemployed, while coming up with new ideas and perspectives on how to advance growth and transformation.

“BRICS youth need to participate in policy debates and policy formulation processes. You need to weigh in with your perspectives, experiences and proposals to influence the policies which will shape the economy,” Gigaba said. –