As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) gains pace, labour markets must adapt to meet the changing needs of the communities and economies they serve. Policy and business models are evolving in order to leverage disruptive technology – including artificial intelligence (AI) – and benefit from enhanced connectivity and productivity. A shift in education will be key to ensuring that populations have the skills to both adapt to and build on new technologies and the changes they spur.
Electricity and internet connectivity in some markets covered by OBG may be characterised by unreliable supply or by a low rate of penetration. Papua New Guinea is a case in point: as of 2019 only 13% of the population had access to the electricity grid, with the remainder relying on generators for power. The government has targeted extending electricity to 70% of the population by 2030, aided by the implementation of a rural electrification scheme and the application of off-grid solar systems. In terms of ICT infrastructure, increased internet penetration will be supported by the laying of the new Coral Sea Cable, which will improve bandwidth and reliability, though this will primarily benefit the capital, Port Moresby. In a country where approximately 85% of the population lives in rural areas, infrastructure challenges may thus pose the greatest obstacle to developing digital talent.