Zambia has appealed to African countries and regional economic formations to tread cautiously as they work towards realising the continent’s aspirations and adopting the fourth industrial revolution ideals.
He said this when he addressed the outreach dialogue session of the just ended tenth BRICS heads of state summit in Johannesburg today.
ZANIS reports that President Edgar Lungu said the wave of digital domains and advancement in technology as espoused by the BRICS will push many people out of employment in many developing countries.
BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which make up a grouping of emerging economies.
The President observed that the key resource for realizing Africa’s aspirations are its people, their potential and the abundant resources to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Mr. Lungu said it is therefore important to come up with policies that will help take care of challenges resulting from digital and technological developments.
“There is this need to protect our people from this effects of change such as job losses as industries adopt more sophisticated technology to enhance efficiencies,” he explained.
President Lungu said there was therefore need to find ways of balancing between technological advances, job losses and other challenges.
He has since challenged African economies to be prepared to utilize the technological advancements while mitigating any related challenges.
Mr. Lungu further noted that there is need to create more partnerships for skills development, creating sustainable knowledge, sharing platforms and providing technical and financial support for Africa’s economic transformation.
“I wish to affirm my government’s commitment to enhance collaboration with BRICS, the member states and African countries so that we ensure inclusive growth and share prosperity in the light of the fourth industrial revolution as well as in other areas of human cooperation,” he said.
President Lungu has since returned home.
He was accompanied to the BRICS summit by Foreign Affairs Minister, Joe Malanji and Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe among others.
Many other African countries and regional economic bodies that include the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), pledged to work with the BRICS, whose theme was, ‘BRICS in Africa Collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th industrial revolution’.
Earlier, Chairperson of the BRICS forum 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also President of South Africa, said there was need to work together in order to improve the lives of people in member countries and other nations.
And Chinese President Xi Jinping observed that there is need for inclusive partnerships for mutual benefits adding that all countries should work together in pursuing innovations and ride on latest trends.