Industry 4.0 bears the promise of a different way of doing things. It is about revolutionising the way companies operate and creating smart industries that will ultimately build economies. This is the view of Radwa Hafez, country senior officer at Nokia Egypt.
“In Egypt, we are seeing a lot of traction around Industry 4.0. There is a clear understanding of the benefit it will bring to the country, and we are setting the stage to embrace this revolution,” she says. “Currently, we are seeing a lot of investment in modernising networks and infrastructure by the government to put the foundations in place for Industry 4.0, with a new knowledge hub being built in the new capital city, which is paving the way for the development of incubation and technology hubs to take the economy forward. The new capital city is a major leap towards the digital transformation of Egypt as it is hosting the knowledge city and other government entities moving to digitalization and is a smart city in itself.”
There are various critical players in ensuring that a country is Industry 4.0 ready. “As Nokia, we are working closely with government and the relevant regulatory bodies to share our experience both locally and in other countries to crystalise the benefits of Industry 4.0 for Egypt,” says Hafez. “We are also working closely with our telecom operator and enterprise customers, who understand that Industry 4.0 will bring new revenue streams and opportunities to thrive. The operators also understand that they are the means to make Industry 4.0 a reality in Egypt and deliver the benefits of this industrial revolution to other organisations.”
The Government of Egypt has committed to transforming Egypt into a digital society and integrating different technologies to improve citizens’ lives through digitised services. This, in turn, will diversify Egypt’s economy. “We are already seeing a lot of conversations around smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other developments. Key to the digitalisation of Egypt will be changing what is today very paper-based processes, into digital transactions between the government and citizens to provide more streamlined and transparent services,” she says.
Hafez believes that with digitalisation will come far greater economic opportunities. “We will see a shift in the workforce with new jobs emerging, creating opportunities for entrepreneurship,” she says. “We have a massive population that is largely quite young, with many university graduates in the engineering and science sectors. Digitalisation will enable them to be economically active regardless of location, which will, in turn, benefit the overall economy. We are still scratching the surface when it comes to Industry 4.0. But initiatives such as the Decent Life initiative will continue to improve standards of living, infrastructure, and services.”
Hafez says computer literacy will be a key requirement in this transformation and she believes that Africa’s largely young population will drive success in the continent’s transformation. “We must, however, not lose sight of the need for creative skills and human interaction as we move into this new world. Yes, we have machine learning and artificial intelligence, but humans still have a crucial role to play in this world.”