The South African government has announced a roll out plan to develop the biggest tech hub in Africa.
The Minister of Small Business development Development South Africa, Lindiwe Zulu revealed they currently are in talks to build the biggest tech hub in the continent.
She disclosed this during an engagement session with the creative industry in Johannesburg under a theme ‘Leveraging on digital platforms for 4IR creatives’. The session was attended by notable state officials including Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
According to a SA tabloid, the engagement was centred on broadcasting, audio-visual and new platforms, as well as the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). The Minister keenly pointed out that the technological revolution must better and advance the lives of South Africans.
“It also becomes important that Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives embrace this radical reshaping of the relationship between technology capabilities and business opportunities. Incubators must focus on creating a new generation of South African Start-ups that will drive the creation of disruptive technologies in the creatives industry,” she said.
The Minister expressed confidence that South Africa is well placed to benefit from the potential of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the future.
Reports indicate that the tech hub will entail a coding and programming academy as well as co-working and co-creation space for the youth and start-ups in particular.
“If South Africa wants to build on its existing strengths, it must not wait longer with making meaningful, and sometime bold, changes. It must overcome its current complacency, political complexity, and inertia to act.”
“South African initiatives are likely to be successful only if they happen in an integrated manner and, importantly, create more scale and scope for growth across Africa and create the conditions that allow a greater role for consumers and businesses to drive the impact of new technologies through their effective use,” the Minister stated.
The new move comes hot on the heels following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s unveiling of a new commission; Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
While presenting the commission during a state of the Nation address, Ramaphosa said, “To ensure that we effectively and with greater urgency harness technological change in pursuit of inclusive growth and social development, I have appointed a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
The commission’s role is to identify and recommend policies, strategies and plans that will position South Africa as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space
Dr. Brian Armstrong, a foremost ICT industry leader in South Africa also spoke during the engagement and he laid stress on the importance for South Africa remaining competitive in the global economy as it moves to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He said the future work for creative roles are less vulnerable to technological disruptions and automation.
“Computers struggle to do three things at the moment and will continue to do that. These include roles that are iron created intensity, creative intelligence, roles that are high relations intelligence and roles that are high in construction dexterity.”
He added that the more technological the world becomes, the more important it becomes to pay sustained attention to humanity in order to differentiate it from machines hence retain value.
Feature image courtesy: expedia