Alibaba Group Founder Jack Ma’s challenge to Africa to think long term if the continent has to make digital developmental strides is laudable. The global icon in business and entrepreneurship and one of the world's most influential philanthropists observed this during his recent visit to Kenya. Most African countries are trapped in the five year development plan cycles. This has robbed the continent of the ability to adequately peer into the future.
We live in a dynamic and turbulent world dominated by constant, rapid change. Technologies are transforming our day to day operations like never before. The potential disruptive impact on jobs in the wake of advances in robotics and artificial intelligence is a case in point. Having a long-term perspective therefore remains indispensable. Businesses must think ahead and develop models that will compete in tomorrow’s markets. Investments in innovations must be guided by an understanding of long-term developments. Educationists must be abreast with the potential future requirements of the labour market to make sure that they offer individuals the training they require to be competitive in the future.
In sum, foresight will help Africa make strategic decisions, forge strategic alliances and make the continent play a meaningful role at home and the globe.