Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

BRICS states prepare for fourth industrial revolution

Technology is the biggest disruptor, and BRICS countries plan to upskill, provide opportunities as well as develop policies to deal with both the opportunities and challenges presented by industry 4.0.

As leaders gathered on Thursday for their session, they announced that BRICS will be establishing the BRICS partnership on the new industrial revolution.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said unless the fourth industrial revolution is approached in a collaborative manner — underpinned by a developmental agenda — rapid technologies could serve to entrench existing disparities within and between countries.

“By working together, I am certain that we will be able to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that this new of development presents.”

Ramaphosa also urged BRICS countries to formulate and institute policies to deal with the fourth industrial revolution. Each BRICS country presented measures it has taken to deal with the coming of a new age.

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed that BRICS should expand on people-to-people exchanges and a joint skills venture where its citizens can learn more about each other’s cultures.

“When it comes to people and cultural exchanges, there is a lot that we can do together … and we should aim more on people to people connectivity in culture, sport, tourism and other areas,” said Jinping.

He said these joint cultural initiatives would take place through the visitation of museums, art galleries and libraries to strengthen the friendship BRICS amongst the countries citizens.

Brazil is working to enhance its education system to meet the demands of technology by reforming its rigid and outdated school curriculum.

“We have introduced a new model that introduces student autonomy, as we identified that students enjoy conducive environments that allow them to enjoy their professional call.” said Brazil’s president, Michel Temer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the other BRICS countries that digitisation is at the centre of his country’s economic policy and it has since adopted the national technological initiative, a set of measures to guarantee the development of Russia until 2035.

Russia has also launched the economy of Russia programme which “we expect that it will increase the labour force by 30% by 2024”, said Putin.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted the far-reaching impact and consequences the technological revolution will have on job retention in countries such as those in BRICS.

He said, however, it will be difficult to measure its impact on human values. Pointing to a focus on future jobs and opportunities available for youth, Modi emphasised that BRICS countries should up-skill its workers, students and professionals to ensure that have jobs in the future.

As part of preparing the youth for the future “India has embarked on a national skills mission to provide relevant skills and vocational training for our youth that both men and women have access to affordable education,” said Modi.

He also warned BRICS countries the fourth industrial revolution will increase cybersecurity and proposed that the countries should share best practices to deal with the threat.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Thulebona Mhlanga
Guest Author

Related stories


Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

Platinum records for South African mines

The miners are in a comfortable position as the world creeps towards a lower-carbon future

Denel money woes clip air force’s wings

A senior officer says the shortage of spares and and ability to service aircraft and vehicles has a negative effect on the SANDF’s operational ability

State fails at-risk children as R55m orphanage stands empty

Boikagong Centre in Mahikeng has been closed for almost two years because it did not meet safety requirements. The discarded children say they want a safe place to learn, but instead endure rape and other violence

Wildlife farming vs Creecy’s panel

The departments of environment and agriculture legislation are at odds over modifying the genes of wild animals

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…