Think Globally, Act Locally – The Impact of Digital Industrial Transformation in Southern Africa



  • Overview
  • GMIS Connect Events
  • Topic
  • Objectives
  • Targeted Participants
  • Expected Outputs
  • Format
  • DATE: 10-11 December 2019 (2 days)

    VENUE: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Pretoria Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa

    PARTNERS: The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA)

    SPONSOR: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

    REGISTRATION: To submit the registration, please click here. 

  • GMIS Connect is the international roadshow programme of GMIS. Strategically held in some of the world’s leading manufacturing hubs, but also in emerging and developing countries. GMIS Connect is the starting point for engaging the local manufacturing community with local partners on trends, opportunities and challenges brought by 4IR at the country and regional level. By bringing together governments, local and international manufacturers, start-ups and SMEs, NGOs and academia, GMIS Connect events are a key component for gathering insights and shaping the discussions for the Summits (more information about GMIS here).  

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) offers opportunities for governments, multinational enterprises (MNEs), SMEs, to connect and facilitate participation in international production chains. However, with greater interconnectedness comes greater complexity. While participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) bring benefits, the extent of these depend on the nature of inter-firm linkages and a firm's position in global production networks. Furthermore, the widespread adoption of new digital technologies is affecting the location and organization of activities within GVCs, and effective participation in value chains depends on having competent capability nodes in government, industry and academia, at both national and regional level. 
    Africa’s approach to regional integration mainly focuses on bolstering regional trade integration without threatening the sovereignty of member states. In this regard, Southern Africa regional integration is making steady progress, leading to the development of regional value chains (RVCs) that could strengthen the competitiveness of the region. Nevertheless, challenges connected to the underlying questions of how GVCs are constituted and governed, how countries, regions, clusters participate in GVCs and upgrade their position, and how trading countries, MNEs and entrepreneurial firms are setting global regulatory standards, remain.  
    GMIS Connect Southern Africa will address some of the most pressing issues related to the participation of SADC countries in global production and global trade, speaking to what the impact of new technologies in priority value chain clusters is. The event will specifically navigate how the use of 4IR technologies can help local and regional firms integrate into international value chains and increase participation in global trade. It will also investigate what the public sector can do to facilitate the transition into the digital economy and what policy tools are needed to support regional economic integration. 

    • Showcasing the importance of 4IR for industrial development in Southern Africa and provide examples on how 4IR adoption can be further accelerated;
    • Identifying opportunities to promote investment into 4IR and craft policies to foster 4IR absorption;
    • Exploring opportunities for the development of and/or linking to national and regional projects that could promote industrial transformation;
    • Introduce policy makers and private sector representatives to analyzing – based on statistical indicators – progress that countries and sectors have made in the adoption of advanced technologies, and use this information for evidencebased policy making;
    • Support stakeholders from the public and private sector in incorporating and applying efficient and renewable energy solutions;
    • Gather national and regional insights to feed the GMIS 2020 agenda;
    • Engage Southern African innovators and makers to participate in the 2nd cohort of the MBR Initiative for Global prosperity.;
    • Promote GMIS 2020 in Southern Africa and showcase the potential partnerships and linkages to key stakeholders in Hannover;
    • Promote EQuIP as a training tool for evidence-based industrial policymaking, including that for understanding the impact of 4IR technologies.
  • GMIS Connect event brings together among 100-150 representatives of manufacturing companies including SMEs and start-ups, business associations; Government representatives (industry and related); academia, think tanks, training and education institutions, UN organizations and civil society organizations, including representatives of youth and women. The ‘Enhancing the Quality of Industrial Policies’ (EQuIP) training part of the programme mainly targets policymakers (around 70 participants).

  • The roadshow is expected to create greater awareness about the opportunities and challenges arising from the 4IR for the regional industrial sector and the associated decision makers and other stakeholders. In particular, it will explore the participation of SADC Member States in regional and global value chains in the digital era. Concrete outputs will be:

    • Increased knowledge among participants on latest trends, business practices and innovation in advanced industrial technologies;
    • Improved awareness of policy makers and analysts of tools related to evidence based industrial policy making, and enhanced capacity of policy makers and analysts to analyze progress in the application of 4IR technologies;
    • National and regional dialogue among private sector representatives, policy makers, finance institutions and investors on how to progress in the digital era;
    • Opportunities for developing national and regional collaborative programmes to raise awareness and increase readiness among local, national and regional small and medium enterprises.
  • GMIS Connect Southern African programme will offer a variety of discussion formats to enable an interactive discussion among various stakeholders. It will also offer a venue to proactively engage in conversations to share ideas and best practices to elaborate on tech solutions for industrial challenges. 

    Following the opening ceremony, the event will feature morning plenary sessions that will shed light on the readiness of SADC countries to harness 4IR. This will include talks on:

    • The challenges faced by SADC countries in fostering industrial innovation and the available opportunities to ensure that they will not lag in the digital transformation;
    • A policy makers debate on what national governments are doing to promote digital industrial policies, and what is missing to support Southern African countries to be more competitive in the global market;
    • A brief presentation on a newly developed EQuIP module on Industry 4.0, which is a tool for industrial policy practitioners to use Industry 4.0-related measures in their policy making.

    The afternoon plenary sessions will deepen the discussion on the development of value chains and the need to increase regional integration for better global participation of SADC economies. A presentation on the topic will be delivered by an expert and a panel discussion will follow to elaborate on key topics, including digital competitiveness, capacity building, digital infrastructure, and the implications of product digitization on GVCs/RVCs. The panel discussion will then into speed talks to further discuss the impact of new technologies on priority value chain clusters such as agri-processing, mineral industry and pharmaceuticals. Afterwards, Southern African innovators and makers will be offered the opportunity to present actual business models, products or ideas that are disrupting the industrial sector for the greater good.   
    To conclude, the event will finally take a look at what Southern African region needs to do to survive this digital revolution that is disrupting economies and societies at all levels, and how 4IR can be used to help the region achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   
    The entire event will make use of, a web-based Q&A and polling platform for live events allowing attendees to ask questions and vote in live polls via their phones, tablets or computers. 


  • Introduction
  • Who is EQuIP for?
  • How EQuIP works?
  • The ‘Enhancing the Quality of Industrial Policies’ (EQuIP) toolbox, jointly developed by GIZ and UNIDO, offers a comprehensive set of training modules to support industrial policy practitioners to undertake a thorough industrial diagnosis, to design evidence-based strategies and context-appropriate policies for inclusive and sustainable industrial development. 
    Over the past three years, it has been deployed in numerous countries globally, including Cambodia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Myanmar, Western Balkans and Georgia. Currently, it is being used in various countries to consolidate and update their industrial policies. The toolbox can be accessed here.

    • Ministries of Industry, Trade, Commerce or Economy. In particular, officials who are directly involved in the development of industrial analysis, policies, strategies and action plans;
    • Donor programmes in the area of sustainable economic development that seek to support partner governments to enhance the quality of industrial policy making.
  • EQuIP empowers economic policymakers to independently develop industrial policies based on evidence and clear goals. It aims at developing capacities in the use of analytical tools, answering questions such as:

    • How is our industrial sector performing relative to competitors?
    • Where is the potential for expansion, upgrading, employment generation or improving the environmental impact in our industrial sectors?
    • How diversified and embedded is our industry? 

    The second step is about developing policies in a participatory manner. This includes:  

    • Formulation of a strategy;
    • Designing of tailor-made industrial policies;
    • Implementation of policy instruments in action plans