The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
twitter1 facebook1 linkedin logo
 

Background note from the Consultation on South Africa hosting an Affiliate Centre of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 's Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution held earlier today at the CSIR International Convention Centre. The key highlights are summarised below.

The programme director was Dr Phil Mjwara (Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology).

1. In her opening, the Hounarable Minister of the Department of Science and Technology, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane highlighted the following:

  • A need to partner with other African countries on the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • The negotiations on this Accord started almost a year ago, with today being part of the Consultative process on South Africa hosting an Affiliate Centre of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 's Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • His Excellency, Hounarable President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced the appointment members of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • The commission will assist government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the industrial revolution
  • The task of the commission, which is chaired by his Excellency, the Hounarable President himself, is to identify relevant policies, strategies and action plans that will position South Africa as a competitive global player
  • The Deputy Chairperson of the Commission is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, whose expertise spans the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine
  • She further mentioned that Parliament has recently adopted the 2018 White paper on Science, Technology and Innovation

2. In his introductory remarks, The Deputy Chairperson of the Commission is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, highlighted the following:

  • The world is already moving from digital to quantum physics
  • There are no departments in our institutions of higher learning in South Africa that are dedicated to the Material Science
  • There has been some developments to a certain extent in the biomedical field, however, not much on the gene editing
  • Artificial intelligence is making machines to do what some of the average human beings cannot do, for example, a computer plays much better chess than most human beings
  • This has been enhanced by the abilities of the machines to analyse bid data
  • He emphasised the notion that all the models are wrong, however are useful
  • He covered the ethics of data collection and management
  • Post work Era- Department of Labour develops a human capacity strategy around the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • In equality: Department of the Social Development develops a strategy around inequality
  • Bounded freedom: Legislature develops 4th Industrial Revolution privacy laws
  • Manufacturing: Department of Science and Technology revisits the Advanced Manufacturing Strategy
  • Nationalism: Presidency develops a social compact to control the rise of nationalism and xenophobia
  • Data: Continental and regional data banks
  • Intellectual Property (IP): Development institutions such as the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the African Development Bank (ADB) enter the IP market
  • International Relations: must be data driven
  • Health: Strategy of reducing costs and increasing services
  • Automation: Legislature develops automations regulation laws

3. In his presentation titled “The work of the global World Economic Forum (WEF)” , Dr Murat Sonmez, from the WEF highlighted the following:

  • He highlighted the drivers of the changes in the world to embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution (He played a video clip to illustrate some real case studies)
  • The use of the 4th Industrial Revolution in India in the farming industry to predict the ploughing seasons, given the impact of the climate change
  • He highlighted governance, ethics and regulatory concerns
  • The importance of collaborations, such as today we are launching a milestone of South Africa hosting an Affiliate Centre of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 's Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Key focus areas (Drones, Autonomous Vehicles, Precision Medicine and the Environment)- taking into consideration Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Digital Trade and Cross-Border Flows, Data Policy, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain

4. In his presentation titled “The CSIR research agenda for technology governance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” , Dr Thulani Dlamini, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CSIR highlighted the following:

  • The mandate, mission and vision of the CSIR
  • Key focus areas for the CSIR namely 1) Technology Development 2) Technology Implementation 3) Infrastructure 4) Skills Development 5) Collaboration opportunities

Following the above-mentioned inputs, the discussions on the partnership opportunities followed with the comments, questions and answers sessions with the participants.

Full Background Note

SAIMM Advert button072017inner

SAIMM on twitter