SADC developing fourth industrial revolution strategy: Geingob

01 Mar 2019 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 01 MAR (NAMPA) – The Southern African Development Community is in the process of developing a regional strategy on the fourth industrial revolution, SADC Chairperson Hage Geingob said Friday.
Geingob was speaking at the launch of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Commission’s report on the Future of Work, in Durban, South Africa.
The fourth industrial revolution is envisaged to bring about fundamental changes to the economics of virtually every industry in the SADC region and the world at large.
“The key elements of the fourth industrial revolution will need to feature prominently in our implementation strategies and programmes. I have no doubt that the Global Commission’s report will be a valuable reference,” said Geingob, who is also the president of Namibia.
The SADC chairperson mentioned some of the recommendations from the report which are founded on three pillars - increasing investment in people’s capabilities; increasing investment in the institutions of work and increasing investment in decent and sustainable work.
He noted that despite positive economic growth, employment growth has been very minimal in SADC countries.
“The high rates of unemployment and underemployment in SADC countries already present formidable challenges, particularly regarding youth unemployment,” he said.
Geingob said he agreed with the recommendation that future approaches should directly “incentivise job creation as a key target rather than a by-product of economic policies that otherwise pursue other objectives”.
He also said the report recognises that a workplace is principally made up of human beings and for that reason he suggested the establishment of a universal labour guarantee that includes the right to an adequate living wage, as well as a safe working environment.
Furthermore, Geingob pointed out that the education curricula in SADC require reorientation to better respond to emerging and future labour market needs.
“It is only in this way that the labour market can play its stabilising role as a source of income and livelihoods for the majority,” he said.
Geingob also stated that as a result of the pace of technological changes, which is determined by human capacity to drive it, considerable investments must be made to support education and skills development that will swiftly and adequately respond to new developments.
The commission provides the analytical basis for the delivery of the ILO’s social justice mandate in the 21st century by identifying the key challenges facing the world of work and making practical recommendations about how these may be addressed in the future.