The role of the fourth industrial revolution in achieving economic development: challenges and opportunities


  • Adelaide Selemela University of Limpopo, Department of Development Planning and Management, South Africa
  • Michael Nkosinathi Khwela Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, University of Limpopo, Department of Development Planning and Management, South Africa
  • Mohale Ernest Selelo University of Limpopo, Department of Development Planning and Management, South Africa



Economic Development, Economic Growth, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Technology


The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyze how the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) contributed to economic growth and development in South Africa. It argues that the 4IR is a pathway to achieve economic growth and development. Although much emphasis from the literature indicates the negative impact of the 4IR on human development, this paper brings to light that the 4IR is an engine to the headway of economic development. To get the expected results, desktop research is used, covering South Africa as an area of focus.  Hence, it adopted a literature-based methodology that relies on the use of existing literature to critique the role of the 4IR in enhancing economic development. It reveals that the 4IR is detrimental to human development, however, it can be used as a catalyst for economic growth and development. It thus recommends that the 4IR must be fully embraced by both the government and private sector for the betterment of economic development and business growth amongst others.


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How to Cite

Selemela, A., Khwela, M. N., & Selelo , M. E. (2023). The role of the fourth industrial revolution in achieving economic development: challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 12(7), 244–253.



Financial and Economic Studies