4th industrial revolution tops agenda at big KZN manufacturing conference

31 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915638


THE KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba has announced its agenda, and the fourth industrial revolution is set to feature prominently when the annual event comes to the Durban ICC on the 14 and 15 August 2019.

The conference will host forums on the fourth industrial revolution and its bearing on various manufacturing units within the sector.

“Industry 4.0 and IoT are prevalent technological innovations that are disrupting and changing the industrial sector as we know it,” conference organisers said in a statement. “As a result, much job insecurity amongst industrial players has surfaced and the event intends to educate attendees to alleviate associated threats while proactively unveiling practical innovative strategies to reinforce their competitive advantage and boost profits through the digitalisation of manufacturing operations.”

Conference presenters will also address the range of government funding options intended to boost investment in the nation’s manufacturing units on both a local and global scale. Applicants are required to meet specific stipulations in order to qualify for funding and these discussions will familiarise potential candidates with them.

Another topic on the conference agenda is access to local and global markets, along with various tactics that that both small and larger manufacturing enterprises can use to do so.

Also under discussion will be reducing tariff barriers in an attempt to boost African exports. According to conference organisers, the recent signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) by 44 African countries is estimated to increase intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022 and is projected to be a promising step for African manufacturing sectors.

“This represents unrivalled opportunities for Africa to trade with itself, thereby creating new geographic markets and uncovering novel innovations and technologies to expand and provide new market sectors to sell to.”

In addition, the symposium will cover how the government and private sectors plan to collaborate to cultivate talent across the generations and encourage skills acquisition to further improve the nation’s productivity rates.

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