Launch of Faith Mangope Technology & Leadership Institute

My presentation on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Opportunities and Challenges for South Africa at the launch of The Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute.

The Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute is established to align Africa’s youth, particularly women, with a working environment governed by the 4th Industrial Revolution.

To Educate, Empower, and Equip African women about Jobs 4.0, thereby assuming the role of catalyst for the success of their future career endeavours . We also want to provide a support structure for women who are interested in working and becoming entrepreneurs in the ICT Sector.

To expose African women to global opportunities in the ICT Sector and to facilitate their participation in the sector. We are beginning this initiative with women in mind at first given the trends of participation of women within the technology industry. Women have for a long time either felt like they should not occupy a seat on the technology table, or have felt drowned out by a presumably more masculine industry. Ours is to level that playing field and provide equal opportunities.

We begin with women, but we will be moving to working with both men and women in the space


Fourth Industrial Revolution – Opportunities and Challenges for South Africa

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) follows on from previous industrial revolutions, each of which fundamentally changed the nature of work and the jobs found in that era. In the first industrial revolution change was driven by steam and waterpower. In the second, mass production was driven by electrification and change in the third by automation of processes. The fourth is being driven by the intersection of cyber and physical technologies as per the diagram below.

4ir – The Fourth Industrial Revolution [i]

4IR is being driven by rapid changes in a number of key technologies, including robotics (both personal and industrial), internet of things (IOT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and biotechnology amongst others.

Importantly, 4IR is receiving lots of attention and is accompanied by a lot of hype.

What is not in debate in the midst of all the hype is the following:

  • 4IR impacts every industry in every country;
  • Technologies are changing at unprecedented rates. South Africa is still in many cases stuck in the third industrial revolution whilst people are already talking about the fifth, i.e. using technologies for the good of people, humanity and the world;
  • Participation is not optional;
  • 4IR creates both change and opportunities;
  • Connectivity is key to unlocking new opportunities, such  that many people now talk about connectivity as a basic human right.

Opportunities exist in two main areas. The first being new industries such as renewables, plastic replacements, biodegradable plastics in emerging green industries, and nano technology, biotechnology and genetics in the rapidly changing health arena. The second area of opportunities exist in new business models such as UBER, robotic pointsmen, butlers etc., as well as thousands of new micro industries being created by emerging technologies like as 3D printing. [ii]

Consider for a moment the impact of what will happen with the following scenarios.

  • when renewables deliver electricity so cheaply that electricity is free?
  • when autonomous vehicles replace our current means of transport, deliveries, air and sea travel?
  • when flying drone taxis replace cars, buses and trains?
  • when “made in China becomes made in your living room?” [iii] and 4IR democratises manufacturing so everyone can manufacture goods?
  • when everything is available so quickly and so cheaply on a per use basis I don’t need to own things such as ice-cream machines and pasta makers that I use infrequently?
  • when VR enables me to be at the office without being at the office?
  • when traditional jobs such as welding are replaced by new jobs such as robotic welding?

We need to ask ourselves what does this mean for South Africa? Two  quotes perfectly frame this conversation.

The first “Only 30% of potentially at-risk people were retained last year” [iv] and the second “By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist” [v] illustrate the enormity of the challenge

To address both these issues South Africa needs to invest in people and as described by PWC “protect the person and not the job” [vi].

“Valuing human capital not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world” [vii]

Skills and reskilling are key to protecting the person and valuing human capital. But, in order to achieve this, fast action is required to create enabling frameworks and coordinated government strategies to determine the following:

  • Identify new industries and the relevant skills needed to grow these
  • What should we skill for – we need to identify new, emerging and transforming jobs combined in a South African Atlas of Emerging Jobs, develop curricula for these jobs and update these much faster to keep pace with the rate of change around us
  • Which occupations are at risk and who, therefore should be reskilled – identify potentially  endangered jobs and develop a specific strategy to address people doing these jobs
  • How technology can be leveraged to develop skills, using emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual reality to fundamentally change the education landscape
  • How to leverage skills funding from all areas in South Africa to achieve these goals

In conclusion, as a country we can utilise changes in technology, industries and business models to create a more just, inclusive and sustainable society in South Africa but the time to act is now.

Sherrie Donaldson, African Innovators
Secretariat South African Brics Business Council Skills Development Working Group

Further information on the Institute


Industrial revolutions and future view, Christoph Roser,








One thought on “Faith Mangope Technology & Leadership Institute Launch”

  1. I am so interesting in the Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute that seeks to final empower women to achieve great heights especially this generation. In the words of Nelson Mandela (Tata Madiba) “Every now and then a generation is called upon to be great, you can be the great generation” and Faith has displayed this greatness. Tata Madiba would be very proud of your efforts to improve women.

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