Yokohama, Japan, Wednesday 28 August 2019
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has called for the right investment to prepare Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
The 4IR is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work.
Addressing around 50 African Heads of State and Government during the opening plenary session at the summit, President Bio said that as Africans, the continent had missed out on the first, second and third industrial revolutions but urged that Africans should not miss out on the fourth industrial revolution.
“If we do not prepare our children for the 4IR technologies we are going to miss out,” he said, adding that the next generation should be familiar with AI, machine learning and big data algorithms.
As part of preparing for the 4IR, President Bio told the conference that his government had prioritised investment in human capital development through a record budgetary allocation to education. His call for investment to prepare Africans for the 4IR was strategically aligned to the theme for this year’s TICAD7, which focuses on advancing Africa's development through people, technology and innovation.
For President Bio, the 4IR is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centred future.
The President also used the occasion to inform the conference that his new administration had done a lot of reforms to make the business climate more favourable in Sierra Leone.
“We have doubled the number of business registered in one year. We have seen an upward trend in starting a business indicator and protecting minority investors,” President Bio stated.
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