We are excited to announce the publication of the initial IEEE SA African Standardization Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution White Paper.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is heralding the development of new techniques and business models. These will fundamentally transform production processes, government decisions, industry, and society at large. Trust, policy networks, learning by doing, and collaboration between different social actors are critical success factors. The African Fourth Industrial Revolution Standardization Strategy seeks to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, through collaboration of standardization experts, technology communities, stakeholders and regulatory agencies in assessing industry standards and policy harmonization that enhances trade within the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) single market, illuminating how standards are a key driver and enabler of economic activities.
A launch webinar was held on 9 December 2021 and included Guest of Honor, H.E. Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry & Mining at the African Union Commission, as well as organizations that participated in the development of the strategy.
Moderator: Dr. Eve Gadzikwa, Chairperson of the A4IRSS Executive Committee & SAZ Director General
- Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, ARSO
- Mr. Reuben Gisore, Technical Director, ARSO
- Vincent Kaabunga, Chair, Africa Council, IEEE
- Dr. Ntsibane Ntlatlapa, Center Head, C4IR South Africa
- Mr. Didier Nkurikiyimfura, Chairperson of the AIRS Executive Committee and Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Smart Africa
- Guest of Honor, African Union Commission: Launching Document
Africa is moving toward increased regional integration through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and Digital Single Market, which necessitate a strong implementation strategy supported by interoperable technology. This is enabled by standards and related activities, such as certification. This also highlights the need for a robust strategy to understand the implications of current and future technologies and the benefits standards bring to society at large, including in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the social, economic, and environmental spheres. Africa as a continent has recognized the importance of standards and the broader need for quality infrastructure. Given the size and diversity of Africa, and in particular the multiplicity of approaches utilized by different players and stakeholders, a more focused and coordinated approach is required to bring the various stakeholders together to identify the priorities, short- and long-term plans, and to create concrete and actionable plans to achieve those priorities.
The African Union’s Agenda 2063 outlines Africa’s Seven Aspirations, and our strategy and roadmap will directly contribute to several of the aspirations:
- A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
- An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
- An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law
- A peaceful and secure Africa
- Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values, and ethics
- An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
- An Africa as a strong, united, resilient, and influential global player and partner
The Africa Standardization Strategy and Roadmap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution will provide a prioritization and very specific implementation plan focusing on standardization aspects and related training needs to help deliver the broader objectives set out by the Agenda 2063. It brings institutions to engage and provide input into a shared vision that enables deployment of future platforms in a more seamless manner.
This effort is an outcome of the ARSO-IEEE Standards Summit held on 2 October 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, and the African Standardization Organization (ARSO), the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), and Smart Africa agreement on the need for this strategy and roadmap. These organizations will take the initial lead and seek participation from other key continental institutions to develop the Standardization Strategy and Roadmap under the aegis of the IEEE Industry Connections program, which provides a platform for government institutions, researchers, companies, and regulators, as well as specific experts, to come together to develop this specific plan for Africa. Coordination with the broader IEEE community across the continent, through the IEEE Africa Council, is another resource.
Through this coordination program among stakeholders, we aim to facilitate standardization structures and related capacity-building activities to address issues around markets adopting technologies and the severe shortage of resources in this space. Through a coordinated action, more ground can be covered.
We welcome new participants from large and small corporations, academia, industry, and government agencies that are interested in African Standardization Strategy and Roadmap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The standardization and technology communities, including related policy communities, in Africa will benefit from this strategy and roadmap. Members will include but are not limited to:
- African institutions active in the standardization and technology arenas
- IEEE’s Government Engagement Program on Standards (GEPS) participants from Africa
- ARSO members active in harmonization and uptake of international standards
- Societies, NSBs, regulators, academics, students, and innovators
Possible Industry Outcomes
Proposed deliverables and outcomes from this Industry Connections activity may include documents (e.g., white papers, reports), proposals for standards, conferences and workshops, databases, computer code, etc.
- A strategy and roadmap document
- An implementation plan
- Pilot projects
- Related capacity-building programs
How to Participate
To join the African Standardization Strategy and Roadmap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Initiative team, please express your interest by sending an inquiry to:
- ICAID (PDF)