By Cecilia Diesob, GNA
Accra, March 7 GNA - Mr Amr Kamel, the General Manager for West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands has suggested to Africans to develop their value-added manufacturing sector.
He noted that in 2014, 30 percent of China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came from the manufacturing sector and comparatively, Nigeria’s GDP was just nine percent, Kenya 12 percent, and Zambia eight percent, making reference to World Bank statistics.
In a news release copied to the Ghana News Agency he said industrial revolution would grow the continent and continue to support its rising population and growing middle class.
“Africa is also at a crossroads with a global focus on mitigating the effects of climate change and drastically reducing our carbon footprint, the world is on a mission to make the manufacturing industry cleaner, greener and more sustainable. But where does this leave rapidly developing economies?” he questioned.
Mr Kamel explained that the continent was poised for growth through green industrialisation from using steam to mechanise production in the first industrial revolution, to the harnessing of electric power in the second.
“Manufacturing has traditionally been energy intensive with the development of information technology in the third industrial revolution, and now with big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence ushering in Industry for, Africa is at the centre of a revolution that has tremendous opportunity for the continent.
“The heavy reliance on energy resources, infrastructural gaps and a skills and productivity shortage, has undermined the global competitiveness of Africa`s industrial sector.
“By advancing to Industry 4.0, Africa can take advantage of greener, more productive technologies without being burdened by out-of-date energy and labour intensive methods. By leapfrogging, Africa will be closer to attaining sustainable and inclusive growth, employment while safeguarding its natural assets.” He added.
He recommended using big data to grow Africa’s industry, so that manufacturers will generate a huge amount of information.
He said understanding and utilising Industry 4.0 data efficiently has become paramount in today’s age of industrialisation and could slash costs for most manufacturers.
He said the data could be used by companies to make demand-driven decisions, citing the running of equipment in conjunction with fluctuations in consumer demand in order to save energy.
The General Manager for Microsoft further added that the Intelligence provided could be useful in the recycling process of some technologies while lowering impact on the environment.
“Data can also track labour output, for example managing shifts optimally to increase productivity, reduce waste and emissions by tracking and managing energy use as well as optimising workforce by using data to balance workforce requirement which could be a major source of savings.
“In the area of product inventory, Industry 4.0 could aid manufacturers need to reduce the cost of storage, unnecessary insurance, maintenance and other factors whenever possible.” He noted adding that with bold leadership, Africa could become a leader in Industry 4.0.