Energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric participated at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Regional Roundtable with President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of the South African government late last month.
Caspar Herzberg, president, Schneider Electric MEA region
Highlighting the need to develop and strengthen partnerships between the private and public sector, the roundtable provided a forum for business and government to engage on critical topics for South Africa's future development, including health, security, workforce, higher education, youth skills and governance.
Investing in people
Caspar Herzberg, president of the Schneider Electric Middle East and Africa region, co-chaired the ‘Taskforce 8: How to create jobs for youth’ discussion.
“We believe in investing in people as the backbone of the economy, and we place significant focus on vocational training and on-the-job training,” said Herzberg.
“The conversation is on how best to develop young people in South Africa, providing them with the skills they need to contribute to and participate in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). South Africa is an integrated economy with significant growth potential; we see the country as the perfect platform of innovation to launch into the rest of the continent. It is important that government and industry engage in win-win partnerships, particularly around key verticals of the smart city, such as energy, water and transport. Through these partnerships, industry is able to invest, and experiment, and that is a very attractive proposition.”
Digital economy intertwined with real economy
For Schneider Electric, access to energy, education and basic connectivity is a basic human right. “Our foundations are built on that very principle, that the digital economy and real economy are intertwined. Without energy, there can be no digitisation – everything we do is powered by energy”, said Herzberg.
The company has ambitions of training an additional 30,000 people in the next four years. “Schneider Electric's commitment to South Africa and its development remains firm, and it has been an honour and privilege to sit down with the country’s top leaders to work through the challenges and opportunities ahead of us,” concluded Herzberg.
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