Manufacturing IT Summit

Africa’s Manufacturing Sector : Gaps and Opportunities

Africa is now seen as a continent full of growth opportunities, especially in the manufacturing sector.

Fuel, food and beverages, chemicals, glass, ceramics, and cement form the bulk of manufacturing industry in the continent. As part of post-pandemic recovery and increase in demand, the manufacturing sector is expected to hit $666 billion by year-end.

There is certainly a high need to empower manufacturing stakeholders in the continent to enter the new age of innovation and technology and ensure better sustainability to compete in production and trade with western countries.

Potential for Africa’s manufacturing sector in the world

In Africa, the average age group of people from 14-24 years are expected to grow more than double this year compared to 2015. Hence, one can expect high growth in the youth and thus a direct result in robust growth in the manufacturing sector. Countries like Uganda, Tanzania, etc. have also witnessed the interest of investors in varied sectors. The Free Trade area launch in 2018 has been another significant step towards encouraging manufacturing and industrialization in the continent.

5 digital transformation strategies that could boost growth in the Manufacturing Sector in Africa

1. Hybrid Future Work

Organizations should adopt a hybrid/ blended workplace model to maintain mobility. The hybrid workplace model is a combination of both remote and office work together. It gives employees the flexibility to work in both environments. Much like the rest of the world, Africa’s manufacturing sector will greatly benefit from a hybrid work model. This model empowers employees with access to individual tasks with automated workflows coupled with the physical office for collaborative tasks with peers and groups.

2. Cloud Computing

The future workspace aligned with cloud computing is one of Africa’s key industry technology trends in 2021. It will enable businesses to stop investing in costly infrastructure. Instead, businesses can already implement cloud computing in the workplace, storing their data in highly secured cloud systems. Only authenticated users can access and edit information on it anytime.

3. Automation

Automation equipment aid in automating the activities and measure performance. Automation enhances the efforts of the workforce that in turn drives productivity. Automation can even facilitate the creation of new job positions. The critical, regular operations can also be efficiently handled through automated processes without errors. Digital Twin Technology is yet another application of automation that is gaining traction in product development and business performance improvement.

4. Bringing your atmosphere into the Remote Workforce

The significant obstacle of current periods is that the businesses are exponentially shifting towards a remote workforce . It has sustained business continuity and has given employees the flexibility and accessibility to be productive. So, Bringing-Your-Own-Environment gives employees the freedom to be reliant on the remote working system. This increases productivity and ensures a better employee experience.

5. Creating a compelling Employee Experience

Organizations should host training and development workshops and modules to train employees at their own pace. Employees should have the freedom to use social media systems to voice their ideas and opinions related to tasks and operations, ensuring a transparent workplace. When employees work remotely, organizations also need to showcase periodic feedback and training to keep them motivated.

The aforementioned digital transformation strategies can certainly drive growth in African manufacturing sector, while propelling them towards a better future.

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