The way we manufacture products these days is crazy.

A massive factory half way across the world – hires cheap, low-skilled human labour to bang out a product and then dumps this stuff on a big ship and transports it physically to the other side of the planet. The model as it is, has huge implications for the environment and society.

But another way to do things already exists and could well lead to a remarkable revolution in manufacturing which could power local economies just like the industrial revolution did more than a century ago.

Economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years, but relief might come from an unexpected place — a new form of manufacturing that is neither what you thought it was nor where you thought it was. Industrial systems thinker Olivier Scalabre details how a fourth manufacturing revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and growth.

A rethink of how we make things is what’s needed here. The old ways are dated and dangerous. It’s good news for Africa that’s for sure.