Is the fourth industrial revolution relevant to sub-Sahara Africa?

Desmond Tutu Ayentimi, John Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


While the 4IR has the potential to impact on all industries and all nations, regardless of their location or state of development, many of the discussions of the 4IR and its impact are focused on advanced economies. What are the prospects and constraints of the 4IR to emerging economies in sub-Sahara Africa? To what extent is the 4IR relevant to sub-Sahara Africa where there is a large informal economy, limited public infrastructure, where technical skills levels are low, and advanced technology can be found in only a few sectors that are dominated by foreign multinational companies and staffed by expatriate workers? What is the relevance of policy development towards the 4IR in the region given its young population profile, and emerging skill shortages in key sectors? The paper draws on secondary literature to highlight the challenges and to identify the policy developments that have been developed in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
JournalTechnology Analysis and Strategic Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • developing economies
  • fourth industrial revolution
  • Sub-Sahara Africa
  • technology


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