Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa

Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa honoured with academic Wits cap

Congratulations to the C4IR South Africa: Centre Head Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa who has been appointed as an Adjunct Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

Dr Ntlatlapa will form part of the team at the LINK Centre, the School of Literature, Language and Media, in the Faculty of Humanities until October 2024.

Part of this relationship with Wits will see Dr Ntlatlapa guest lecturing on postgraduate programmes and short courses, providing supervision of postgraduate students, creating opportunities for postgraduate students of the LINK Centre to experience an immersion in the CSIR research environment and co-authoring scholarly publications with fulltime staff members. Of this honour he said: “I am pleased with the recognition and an opportunity for me to join the academic community at the LINK centre. This honour is a tribute to excellent work of the telecommunications and media technologies team that I had the honour to lead for the major part of my work at the CSIR and the impact that it has had in the national and international telecommunication regulatory landscape. I hope that this relationship will provide additional capacity for the C4IR South Africa to it mandate to be influential voice in global decisions on the regulation of 4IR technologies.”

Dr Luci Abrahams, Head of the LINK Centre at Wits shared a warm welcome to Dr Ntlatlapa: “We are very pleased to have Professor Ntsibane Ntlatlapa join the academic community at the LINK Centre, where he will contribute his knowledge and capacities to building the knowledge base of the 50 plus postgraduate students from across the SADC and East African regions, studying in the field of interdisciplinary digital knowledge economy studies. His first endeavour is in supervising a Masters research, titled “Adoption and use of Internet of Things in South Africa and the implications for adaptive regulation”. We trust that the relationship will be mutually beneficial to Wits University, C4IRSA and to the CSIR”.

Invitation to interested companies and organizations to partner with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) South Africa in the Accelerated Adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) for SMME Project.

First call deadline: 05 November 2021

1. INTRODUCTION

The technological advances in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, inevitably, have both merits and risks. The extent to which the benefits are maximized and the risks mitigated depends on the quality of governance protocols – policies, regulations, norms, standards, and incentives – that shape the development and deployment of technologies. Governance must be stable, interoperable, predictable, and transparent enough to build confidence among investors, companies, scientists, and the public, but also agile enough to remain relevant in the face of rapid advances in technology.

South Africa’s adoption of transformative technologies should be in the form of a unique model, strategy, and objectives, informed by South Africa’s socioeconomic imperatives, and shaped by South Africa’s unique contexts and circumstances as a developing economy.

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution(C4IR) South Africa is an initiative of the South African government, acting through the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), to lead the process of developing quality governance protocols that aim to maximize the benefits of the South African economy. The C4IR South Africa is managed and operated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is affiliated to the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Network (C4IR Global Network) to tap into the expertise available within the C4IR Global Network.

The C4IR Network’s vision is to help shape the development and application of emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity. The C4IR Network’s mission is to co-design, test and refine governance protocols and policy frameworks to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of advanced science and technology.

2. INVITATION TO PROSPECTIVE PROJECT PARTNERS TO PARTNER WITH THE C4IR SOUTH AFRICA ON THE ADOPTION OF IMPLEMENTATION OF IOT BY SMME’S.

C4IR South Africa invites companies and organizations in the private sector, and other stakeholder groups representative of any of the sectors of the economy to herein express their interest to partner with the C4IR South Africa as a Project Partner in response to this call focusing on technologies/solutions that will lead to accelerated implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

C4IR South Africa is conducting a pilot project to demonstrate the use and benefit of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology within the Automotive Industry. The Centre aims to accomplish this by partnering with IoT solution providers to provide solutions that will bring the benefit of emerging technologies to more people and industries. The selected partners will work together to co-ordinate, and pilot an IoT implementation that aims to lower barriers and encourage adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technology particularly the IoT, in a small to medium sized manufacturing business.

2.1. The projects objectives are:

  • Raising awareness of emerging technology, and IoT in particular.
  • Create a database of local and global vendors.
  • Demonstrate the validity of technologies and their potential to increase revenues in the sector.
  • Provide costing models for a use case catalogue.
  • Fostering collaboration environments for vendors and SMME’s to partner with one another and build trusted business partnerships.

The call seeks to develop a database of vendors who can provide tried and tested IoT solutions in line with the attached use case catalogue.
Despite the headwinds, vendors also have the advantage that their technology can be deployed to help overcome challenges and drive innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Submissions should provide sustainable 4IR and IoT beneficiation solutions to the manufacturing industry. Solutions that promote operational effectiveness, affordability, economies of scale, and cost reductions will be considered.

The expression of interest should be forwarded to Mr. Obakeng Hlatshwayo via email to rhlatshwayo@csir.co.za or SAC4IR@csir.co.za.

The C4IR South Africa prospectus with details of the benefits and obligations of the Project Partners, will be provided during the briefing session that will be held on the 28th of October 2021 from 11 am to 12 pm. To attend the briefing session kindly complete the attendance register Attendance Register and follow the link to join on the day. Click here to join the meeting.

2.2. Qualification Criteria

To qualify as a prospective partner/s and take part in this pilot project, the partner/s will have to have proven experience in the following.

  • Previous IoT Implementation Experience
  • Data and Device Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Ensure Compliance and Security
  • Solution’s stock on hand
  • Combination of cloud and on-premises deployment
  • Support Services for the duration of the project
  • Engineering robustness to prevent down time

2.3. Project Partners Capabilities

The prospective Project partner/s must be able to provide solutions that can supply Monitoring (using sensors and external data sources must enable comprehensive monitoring of:

  • The products condition
  • The products operation and usage
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Provide the above in a cyber secure environment

2.4. Membership Project Partners

Project Partners are parties with a specific interest in one or more of the priority areas in the C4IR South Africa and the associated projects in that portfolio.

Currently, the C4IR South Africa has initiated an Industrial IoT project for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME), with a primary focus on the below use cases (Refer to attached detailed use case catalogue).

  • Asset tracking
  • Image quality control
  • Machine Learning (ML)
  • Process scanning
  • Sensing (equipment and machinery)
  • Telemetry and power consumption analysis

3. EXPRESSION OF INTEREST BY PROSPECTIVE C4IR SOUTH AFRICA PROJECT PARTNERS

3.1 All expressions of interest must be in writing, preferably in electronic format and should be sent to the person named above.

3.2 The last date for submission is 05 Nov 2021 at 17:00.

3.3 Submissions will be subject to evaluation and acceptance by the C4IR South Africa.

3.4 The C4IR South Africa will apply a broad evaluation and selection criteria, including demonstrated ability to add immediate value to C4IR South Africa focus areas, sound corporate governance experience and reputation of the entity.

3.5. The center will contact all organization’s that made submissions and advise them of the outcomes of their submissions.

3.6 The expression of interest document must give full details of the organization; stating the sector of the economy in which it operates, and the focus area in which it is mostly interested.

3.7 The organization’s submission must further state how it intends to make a contribution to advancing the aims of the project.

3.8 Once it has been submitted and accepted, the expression of interest will reinforce the entity’s commitment.

3.9 The C4IR South Africa will hold further discussions and provide more information on many other aspects of its current and intended future programs.

3.10. All submissions and subsequent discussions will be treated with utmost confidentiality and strict observance of the principles of the Protection of Personal Information (POPIA) Act, 2013 (Act 4 of 2013). Shortlisted or selected organization’s may also be required to enter into a formal confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement.

Invitation to interested companies and organisations to partner with the C4IR SA as Tier 1 Core Members.

The C4IR-SA invites companies and organisations in the private and public sectors, and other stakeholder groups representative of any of the sectors of the economy to herein express their interest to partner with the C4IR SA as Tier 1 Core Members, as per the guidance in section 3 of this invitation.

Click here for more information.

World Economic Forum Launches Initiative to Enable Equitable and Trusted Use of Data for Global Common Good

  • World Economic Forum announces today the first-of-its-kind global initiative on designing a governance framework to responsibly enhance the societal benefit from data  
  • Individuals, private enterprise, civil society, research and government institutions will all benefit when data assets are exchanged to stimulate the transition from traditional to data-driven economies
  • The initiative is critical to ensuring that currently inaccessible data is available to solve key challenges, such as optimizing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • With over 50 global partners from 20 countries, including 10 governments, the Data for Common Purpose Initiative aims to drive innovation in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by accelerating the trustworthy and equitable use of data to unlock value
  • Learn more about the initiative here

San Francisco, USA, 8 December 2020 – Governments, researchers and the healthcare industry have always relied on the insights data provides to make decisions that benefit the public good, a challenge emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking to the future, data will be a major component of rebuilding the economy and responding to these issues.

With over 50 partners from 20 countries around the world, the Data for Common Purpose Initiative (DCPI) is building a foundational governance framework. The framework will refocus data policy and models towards common purposes that will enable differentiated permissioning of the same data, depending on context. Such flexible data governance models could enable government-led data exchanges that can promote a transition to a data-driven economy.

“Some 25 quintillion bytes of data are created each day. All of this information can yield powerful insights but we have not been able to access and use these data in a meaningful way,” said Nadia Hewett, Project Lead, World Economic Forum. “This initiative aims to unlock data from existing siloes and create opportunities for both public good and commercial benefit.”

Historically, institutions and existing policy and regulatory models have attempted to balance data protection with business incentives. The DCPI will reorient governance to the realities of data sharing, developing a framework to enable access to data for intended and agreed upon purposes, without compromising individual privacy rights. 

“It is impossible to foresee all the potential uses for data at the moment it is created or provided. Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies are on a path to enable differentiated permissioning of the same data, dependent upon permitted purposes. In collaboration with the global project community, the DCPI will co-design frameworks to ensure that a person’s data cannot be used for non-permissioned purposes, that their rights are recognized and respected, and that economic benefits and risks are appropriately allocated across a more complete set of stakeholders,” said Sheila Warren, Head of Data, Blockchain and Digital Assets, World Economic Forum.

By highlighting opportunities for unlocking data for common purposes, the DCPI aims to enable the repurposing and reuse of data across public and commercial sectors.

“Data for common good can only flourish if the Forum and DCPI can foster a data trust strategy and mindset. The actionable challenge is twofold. How can we agree on common principles to govern and protect data? How can we envision new ways of exchanging data that place the right value on data contributed by all? Addressing these challenges is key to unlocking the true value of data for a common purpose,” said Sean Joyce, Global and US Cybersecurity, Privacy & Forensics Leader, PwC US.

This multi-year initiative will explore policy, technical and commercial enablers for a flexible and ethical data governance framework. In addition to incorporating best-in-class building blocks, such as policies, toolkits and protocols, the DCPI will pilot projects with public and private sector partners to test and inform its governance framework. These pilots extend across domains such as agriculture, energy, health, environment, mobility and others. This way, DCPI helps to advance the overall data field through what is otherwise individual and independent efforts or projects.

Key pilot projects include:

A pilot run by the Government of Colombia is developing a first-of-its-kind, government-led data marketplace to more easily connect data contributors and consumers.

Meanwhile, the Government of Japan is working alongside the private sector to explore data exchanges available to address challenges in public health, medicine and elderly care, and to extend applications to disaster prevention and traffic safety.

Located in Norway, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Ocean use the advances in new technologies to improve the environmental footprint of ocean industries.

Collaborator quotes:

“Data exchanges can help people and societies get the most out of the digital age, unlocking value, driving economic growth and spreading the benefits more equitably. The Japanese government has been actively exploring the adoption of data exchanges and welcomes this important new global initiative,” said Takuya Hirai, Minister for Digital Transformation, Government of Japan.

“The Data for Common Purpose Initiative is about finding new ways to unlock the power of data to solve global challenges. We look forward to helping shape an approach that empowers consumers, ensures they benefit from data-driven innovations, and encourages organizations to be accountable stewards of consumer data – protecting it and respecting privacy. Through DCPI, we have an opportunity to help unlock the potential benefits of levering data to support the growth of economies and the prosperity of consumers everywhere, while guarding their privacy rights,” said Melissa McSherry, Senior Vice-President, Global Head of Data Products and Solutions, Visa.

“Our world is on the cusp of transformations in system architecture, governance and economic theory. In the new data-driven socioeconomic paradigm, our collective prosperity will ultimately rest on how effectively we are able to harness the power vested in data. Blockchain and the decentralized systems it supports will act as the critical catalysts that allow us to realize the benefits of DCPI without compromising the integrity of our social fabric,” said Donald Bullers, Global Technical Lead, Elastos Foundation.

“A data-driven economy is needed now more than ever. The full value of data is essential to driving an economic rebound in the wake of COVID-19. People across the world, along with governments, civil society and the private sector, want to use data for public good. The World Economic Forum is uniquely placed to bring together the public and private sectors to co-create a governance framework that facilitates responsible data exchange and removes unintended policy barriers to its use,” said Alice Gast, President, Imperial College London.

“The role that data plays in our economy and lives is increasing every day – the work done on the DCPI will play a key role in understanding how to build effective data marketplaces from both the technology and policy perspective. Fujitsu believes that Data is one of the main emerging components of the global economy and are happy to participate in this important initiative,” said Catherine Mulligan, Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, North and West Europe, Fujitsu Services.

“From the data marketplace approach, we are crowdsourcing the operational and regulatory frameworks of data exchange, preserving the protection of users’ rights and promoting novel digital business models. In the long term, the initiative will mature the concept of data markets as a standard practice for public and private sector advancement, or even individual’s growth,” said Victor Muñoz, Presidential Advisor for Digital Transformation and Economic Affairs, Government of Colombia.

“Data policies and models that are developed should serve a common purpose to ensure the Fourth Industrial Revolution does not just benefit a select few but has social impact and addresses our country’s challenges,” said Khungeka Njobe, Group Executive, Business Excellence and Integration, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa, and Co-Lead of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa.

“We are excited about the prospects of sharing data for common purposes. In the financial services sector, we have seen the immense benefits of open-source data standards in making data shareable for a common purpose. Open-source data standards enable the use of technology to easily share data between financial institutions and regulators for the common purpose of achieving financial stability through transparency,” said Diana Paredes, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Suade.

“In combating emissions, plastic waste and overfishing, we need to engage and mobilize key players. We are already working with several committed partners in industry, science, conservation and government. The Data for Common Purpose Initiative gives us a solid platform to work from, both in developing content but not the least to engage with ambitious partners from all sectors,” said Bjørn Tore Markussen, Chief Executive Officer, C4IR Ocean, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Norway.

This initiative builds on the work undertaken at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution over the past two years and is a significant step forward to ensuring that the Fourth Industrial Revolution benefits everyone.

Notes to editors
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Media statement on the release of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s (IFWG) Position Paper on Crypto Assets

As the use of crypto assets continues to grow and evolve, a deeper collective understanding of this area is emerging, and regulators across the globe are formulating regulatory approaches that are proportionate to, and appropriate for, the benefits and risks of crypto assets.

Through the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), a group of South African financial sector regulators have drafted a policy position paper on crypto assets. The purpose of this position paper is to provide specific recommendations for the development of a regulatory framework for crypto assets, including suggestions on the required regulatory changes to be implemented.

The position paper recommends, among other aspects:
• The implementation of an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime
• A licensing and supervisory regime from a conduct of business perspective
• A regulatory regime for the monitoring of cross-border financial flows

This position paper builds on a consultation paper on crypto assets that was first issued by the IFWG on 16 January 2019 (https://www.ifwg.co.za/wpcontent/uploads/2020/02/CAR_WG_Consultation_paper_on_crypto_assetsl.pdf).

The consultation paper highlighted the perceived benefits and risks of crypto asset-related activities, as well as policy proposals for a regulatory framework. It also provided an opportunity for all industry participants and stakeholders to submit comments on the proposals contained in the paper. The comments received were carefully considered in compiling the position paper released on 14 April 2020.

Members of the public and impacted role players and stakeholders are requested to provide comments on the position paper by 15 May 2020. Comments can be submitted by email to innovation@ifwg.co.za.

Access the recently released IFWG position paper on crypto assets here:
https://www.ifwg.co.za/wp-content/uploads/IFWG_CAR_WGPosition_Paper_on_Crypto_Assets.pdf

Notes to editors
Members of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) include the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the National Credit Regulator (NCR), National Treasury (NT), the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

How to empower women entrepreneurs to grow Africa

This International Women’s Day, women in Africa have a lot to celebrate.

Rwanda ranked in the global Top 10 of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Global Gender Gap Report 2020. In the same index, Ethiopia ranked among the top five most-improved countries and has a woman president, Sahle-Work Zewde. Overall, since the last edition of the report, sub-Saharan Africa closed its gender gap by 68%. Despite variations across different countries, the gender gap in terms of health and survival is small in the region.

But having looked at the glass half full, it is also worth reflecting on the bad news.

The political empowerment gender gap in the region remains large. Only Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa have more than 48% women ministers. Regarding the economic participation and opportunity gender parity, there is also still more work to be done. Benin is the top performer in this space, having closed 84.7% of the gap.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunities, lucky breaks and support that I have received for decades from the many men in my life, from my father, brothers, friends, mentors and bosses. That notwithstanding, my experience working in the world of economics and finance, which is still dominated primarily by men leaders, the jury is still out about how ready the world is for women leaders.

It’s too much to ask women leaders to conform to the status quo. We must boost the growth of women business leaders.

A New Dawn

Africa has a long tradition of women entrepreneurs, with the most famous being the so-called Mama Benz of West Africa. Mama Benz became so wealthy by trading brightly coloured cotton fabrics preferred for local clothing that she could afford to buy Mercedes cars.

According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa also has the highest rate of entrepreneurship globally, and this is the only region where the majority of entrepreneurs are women.

Yet most women businesses remain stuck at the micro level, unable to grow due to a range of factors. The report, Profiting from Parity: Unlocking the Potential of Women’s Businesses in Africa 2019, finds that barriers to growth and profitability include social norms, networks and strategic business decisions. In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, it is also alarming to note that the technology gender gap is widening, further crippling the growth potential of women entrepreneurs.

Also worrying is the growing digital divide – women are being left behind in the era of the fourth industrial revolution

With a view to showcase women entrepreneurs tackling these obstacles using new technologies, the WEF launched the first edition of Africa’s Top Women Innovators ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016. The top entrepreneurs were Natalie Bitature, Musana Carts; Audrey Cheng, Moringa School; Lilian Makoi Rabi, bimaAFYA; Nneile Nkholise, iMED Tech Group; and Larissa Uwase, Carl Group.

In 2017, the second edition of Africa’s Top Women Innovators was held ahead of the WEF on Africa meeting in Durban. The top entrepreneurs were Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja, Fresh Direct Nigeria; Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Lifebank; Esther Karwera, Akorion; Darlene Menzies, Finfind; Aisha Pandor, SweepSouth; and Charity Wanjiku, Strauss Energy.

These initiatives to highlight women-led start-ups leveraging the fourth industrial revolution raised awareness about the innovations emerging from Africa, as well as the opportunities and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Accordingly, at the WEF on Africa meeting 2019 in Cape Town, the first Africa Scaling Start-ups Programme was launched with the goal of helping scalable start-ups that have raised more than $1-million to grow in their industries and markets.

Participating women start-ups were Fatoumata Ba, Janngo; Charlene Chen, BitPesa; Audrey Cheng, Moringa School; Yael Joffe, 3X4 Genetics;  Leanne Kemp, Everledger; Doreen Kessy, Ubongo; Mary Mwangi, Data Integrated; Vivian Nwakah, Disrupt Tech Africa; and Sandiso Sibisi, Co Open Innovation Studios.

Bridging the gaps

With deliberate efforts, the trickle of about 20% of high-growth women start-ups can increase and bridge the inclusivity gaps in their respective economies and societies.

Forging ahead also requires society at large to confront the ugly reality of physical and emotional violence that women are too-often confronted with. Violence against women is a growing phenomenon and holds back individual progress both at work and at home. Personal security must be stepped up urgently.

Also worrying is the growing digital divide – women are being left behind in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. It does not bode well for the continent’s future if its potential entrepreneurs are locked out of the digital economy locally, regionally and globally.

In 2016, the WEF  launched the Internet for All initiative in Rwanda, followed by a launch of a country programme in SA in 2017. This initiative was a global call to action targeting about 4-billion people worldwide with no internet access. In recent years, there have been additional initiatives specifically designed to bridge the digital gender gap, including the Africa Smart Women and Girls initiative. More efforts are needed to find and scale innovative solutions.

A Better Future

As a child, I was a staunch advocate for equal opportunity. Decades later, I am personally taken aback by how little progress has been made in expanding the representation of women in business and politics.

I am grateful for the guidance and mentorship of, among others, former co-chairs of the WEF on Africa including Ellen Agler, Winnie Byanyima, Bineta Diop, Monhla Wilma Hlahla, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Frannie Léautier, Graça Machel, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Under their leadership, we have steadily been able to increase the active participation of women leaders shaping the African agenda through public-private collaboration.

Still, it feels like a never-ending climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. This must change. The evidence for actively integrating women leaders in management and leadership teams is unequivocal. It results in better decisions. It results in better outcomes. It is a wise decision for a better world. Let’s not just make it happen; let’s make it easier. 

Kanza is head of the Regional Agenda for Africa, World Economic Forum.

Governing the Coin: World Economic Forum Announces Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance

Amanda Russo, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +1 415 734 0589; Amanda.Russo@weforum.org; Aylin Elci, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 22 869 3621; Aylin.Elci@weforum.org

  • Today, the World Economic Forum announces the first global consortium focused on designing a framework for the governance of digital currencies, including stablecoins
  • The Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance will aim to increase access to the financial system through innovative policy solutions that are inclusive and inter-operable
  • Opportunities for financial inclusion will be only unlocked if the space is regulated properly and includes public-private cooperation across developed and high-growth markets.
  • For more information, please visit www.weforum.org. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef20

Davos, Switzerland 24 January 2020 – Following extensive consultation with the global community, the World Economic Forum announced today the Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance. Digital currencies are often cited as a tool for financial inclusion, but this opportunity can be realized only when paired with good governance.

This is the first initiative to bring together leading companies, financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organizations, NGOs and members of the Forum’s communities on a global level. To tackle the challenge ahead, an international, multistakeholder approach with the public and private sectors working alongside civil society is needed.

This consortium will focus on solutions for a fragmented regulatory system. Efficiency, speed, inter-operability, inclusivity and transparency will be at the heart of this initiative. It will call for innovative regulatory approaches to achieve these goals and build trust. A set of guiding principles will be co-designed to support public and private actors exploring the opportunities that digital currencies present.

“Digital currency, a cross-cutting topic that requires input across sectors, functions, and geographies, is a key area of interest for the Forum,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Building on our long history of public-private cooperation, we hope that hosting this consortium will catalyse the conversations necessary to inform a robust framework of governance for global digital currencies.”

“Any evaluation of digital currencies should consider both policy and business objectives, as well as the unique circumstances that face different economies around the world, in order to fully evaluate their risks and benefits,” said Lesetja KganyagoGovernor of the South African Reserve Bank. “Bringing together diverse perspectives through this consortium will allow for this holistic review. In order to achieve this, we need the public and private sector to collaborate.”

“While digital currencies offer wide possibilities, these have to be assessed against the fundamental objectives of economic advancement and shared prosperity,” said Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. “Global governance of the diverse initiatives provides greater assurance of this outcome.”

“Governance is the core pillar of any form of digital currency,” said Mark Carney,Governor of the Bank of England. “It is critical that any framework on digital currencies ensures security, efficiency and legitimacy of payments while ensuring fair and open competition. We welcome the World Economic Forum’s platform to help develop a robust governance framework for inclusion through digital currencies.”

“We are exploring the potential that properly-regulated digital currencies hold for cheaper and faster cross-border payments, financial inclusion, and rooting out illicit finance,” said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore and Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore. “This dialogue between public and private sector players is now essential, so we find the right roles for each in realizing this potential.”

“We are watching closely as digital currencies increasingly become an area of focus around the world,” said Eric Parrado, Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank. “They may unlock new opportunities for efficiency and inclusion, but this can only happen with the appropriate infrastructure and guardrails.”

“The release of digital currencies will have far-reaching implications, from domestic financial stability to international trade,” said Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt. “As such, it is imperative that efforts to regulate digital currencies are well-informed, collaborative, and global in nature.”

“Building on our collaboration around the World Economic Forum’s Central Bank Digital Currency Toolkit, we are eager to continue exploring the pillars of well-informed approaches to digital currency through this consortium,” said Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

“Having witnessed firsthand technology leapfrog East and West African financial markets forward over the last decade, we are excited that this initiative will bring leaders from around the world to share best practices and will work on truly global policy recommendations,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, Chief Executive Officer of AZA Finance.

“We welcome the dialogue the World Economic Forum is facilitating about digital currencies,” said David Marcus, Head of Calibra, Facebook, Libra Board Member. “We agree that good regulation is important for the success and safe adoption of digital currency platforms and are looking forward to continue to engage in this constructive conversation.”

“Digital currencies have the potential to improve access to financial markets, but proper oversight and governance are required,” said Rob Heyvaert, Founder and Managing Partner of Motive Partners. “The World Economic Forum is uniquely placed to bring together the private and public sectors to discuss these issues and tackle the challenges ahead.”

“Digital currencies are a tremendous opportunity to make the financial system more accessible and fair,” said Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative,Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “Creating an inclusive, integrated global digital currency system requires dialogue across stakeholders ranging from finance ministers to open source developers, and the World Economic Forum is in an ideal position to facilitate this important conversation.”

“Trust is needed in this space now more than ever,” said Joseph Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of AID:Tech. “Creating new economic opportunities and a paradigm shift in how technology is used can benefit all societies. What we need now is multistakeholder cooperation that is anchored in principles of social justice.”

“It’s rare that such an important global organization takes into consideration the context of developing countries in the application of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology to achieve the SDGs,” said Maria Antonia Arroyo, Principal of the Ignite Impact Fund. “Stablecoin is an important development that, if properly implemented and responsible to the concerns of civil society, will be effective at universal financial inclusion.”

“New technologies, like blockchain, have helped catalyze a revolution in the mechanics of money,” said Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys. “We applaud the efforts by the WEF in actively researching digital currencies, including those that are blockchain-based, as a means to foster innovation but also ensure that central banks can maintain their role as stewards of the economy. The future of money is digital and central banks and the public sector have a crucial part to play in ensuring that this future is sustainable, inclusive and positive for society.”

This initiative builds on work done by the Forum over the past year, convening a global community of central banks to co-design a policy framework for the adoption of digital currencies. The Forum’s Global Technology Governance Summit will take place in San Francisco from 21-22 April. Governance of digital currency will be a core pillar.

About the Annual Meeting 2020

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 will take place from 21 to 24 January 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The meeting brings together more than 3,000 global leaders from politics, government, civil society, academia, the arts and culture as well as the media. Convening under the theme, Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World, participants will focus on defining new models for building sustainable and inclusive societies in a plurilateral world. For further information, please click here.


Notes to editors

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The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

Why fixing Africa’s data gaps will lead to better health policies

African countries continue to work towards achieving national and regional commitments to improving data collection and use. But it’s critical that governments invest in relevant, timely and accurate data production for decision-making. Data actors including data managers, statisticians and data analysts need to be involved at every stage. They need to be part of mapping out the problems as well as designing research methodologies and figuring out how to collect, analyse and disseminate data. A wide range of data, including earth observation and geospatial data, needs to be leveraged to review progress in meeting health and wellbeing targets. This is critical to improving the effectiveness and sustainability of health systems.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION

For the full paper please visit https://theconversation.com/why-fixing-africas-data-gaps-will-lead-to-better-health-policies-111869

Where is South Africa’s industrial internet of things innovation?

A growing number of inventive startups has fed expectations that South Africa can be a hub for innovation in the industrial internet of things (IIoT). And while there has been progress and examples of the deployment of IIoT-related technology in the industrial sector in the country, there are roadblocks to more rapid growth, typically involving difficulty in making the business case for implementing new applications. IIoT is a subset of IoT that includes connecting devices and machinery in industrial sectors to monitoring, control and data analysis systems. It involves the merger of enterprise IT with operational technology, or OT – the instrumentation of physical devices and processes. In South Africa, 2019 was to be the year that home-grown startups would lead innovation in the sector, according to Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 ICT trends for South Africa. Whether the actual number of IIoT deployments has lived up to expectations may be debatable, but there appears to be broad interest in field.

SOURCE: CIO

For the full paper please visit https://www.cio.com/article/3518819/where-is-south-africas-industrial-internet-of-things-innovation.html

Artificial Intelligence in Africa – Will 2020 be a Tipping Point for African AI?

Way back in 2017, one could arguably view as the mainstream awakening of AI’s “Third Coming” by the release of PwC’s study of the economic impact of artificial intelligence on the world’s economy by 2030. The study found that AI could increase global GDP by 14% (approx $115.7 trillion) making it the biggest commercial opportunity in the global economy. That very same report estimates that the technology could also increase the GDP of Africa, Oceania and other Asian markets by 5.6 %, which is about $11.2 – trillion (but excludes China and developed Asia) so it stands to reason that Africa will reap significant economic rewards from AI – Right?  However, the 2019 Government AI Readiness Index paints a familiar and somewhat predictably glum picture for the African continent in global indices of this nature. There are no African countries in the top 50 positions, and only 12 African countries (out of 54 in the list) are in the top 100. The top five placed African governments –Kenya, Tunisia, Mauritius, South Africa, and Ghana– reflects the well-documented developments in the technology sectors of these countries.

SOURCE: AI EXPO AFRICA

For the full paper please visit http://aiexpoafrica.com/2020/01/06/artificial-intelligence-africa-will-2020-tipping-point-african-ai/

Agile Policy Development

We’re co-developing and piloting governance and policy frameworks to keep up with the pace of technology evolution.

National and Global Cooperation for Impact

The Centre draws on private sector, government, academia and civil society to co-design technology governance frameworks.

CSIR SCIENCESCOPE VOL 17: FOCUS ON THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Read the latest edition of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) magazine, ScienceScope.

This edition highlights some key issues of significance as the country starts to implement its fourth industrial revolution strategy. It also features CSIR people, research and development, as well as infrastructure.