ICT is Key to SA Growth and Development

To adapt and compete in the current global economic conditions, South Africa will need an arsenal of skills to equip itself against the aggressive global competition. Information Communications Technology (ICT) is one those skills that are fundamental in growing, developing and equipping a country to compete with the economy giants. The ICT sector is one of SA’s crucial GDP contributors. Consequentially, the ICT sector has the potential to play a key role in demolishing the triple threat challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa. Simply put, ICT is key to SA growth and development.

What is ICT?

The South African ICT market includes telecoms services, hardware, packaged software and services. The hardware and software which is commonly used in everyday devices like TV, radio and mobile phones. ICT often is categorised into two groups: traditional computer-based technologies (includes standard office applications such as MS Word and Excel) and digital communication technologies (for example LAN and WAN). However, primarily ICT is concerned with products that store, manipulate, retrieve, receive and transmit data electronically in a digital form. Furthermore, ICT is also concerned with how these functions can work together and how well they function in collaboration.

ICT challenges in SA

In South Africa, the ICT sector faces many challenges. Lack of education, communication costs, POPI Act compliance and affordable broadband connection, are the stumbling blocks that we have to overcome. These challenges are seen as threats to South African growth and development. However, they also offer the opportunity to eradicate poverty and empower the unemployed youth to be innovators and enable SA to compete with both African and global markets.

How ICT acts as a key to SA growth and development

ICT is a broad sector that offers innovation opportunities with market gaps that South Africans can exploit while learning and upskilling themselves. Mobile, cloud, social business and business analytics technologies are a just a few of the market gaps and are all interconnected. Making the most of these opportunities will lead to immense economic activity and increased production levels resulting in employment opportunities. Then from there, theoretically, it’s a domino effect: more employment leads to less poverty, and less poverty will result in an increased Gini coefficient.

With the change to a knowledge-based economy, it is crucial to upskill South Africans with ICT skills, not only because ICT is key to SA growth and development, but to ensure that South Africa, along with the rest of Africa, plays a pivotal role in the future changes in global technology.


One Comment on “ICT is Key to SA Growth and Development”

  1. I am very excited about this information, this is part of my tertiary studies. I am glad to know something this dynamic, something that has a potential to change the whole being of our dear nation.

    I have realised that most people are not aware of the ICTs trends, even though it influence their daily life. It would be of great importance to educate and engage our local communities on the importance of ICTs, as it carries our future.

    What is sad is, people are still holding on to past expectations and are failing to see the new world of technology in front of them. Our young children should learn their basic education digitally, in order for them to be confident about the mystery world of ICTs.

    I am a passionate young woman whos desire is to change the image of our nation. I have the spirit and motivation to bring a change in my community and our nation at large. If I can only have access to the infrastructures and hardwares that are necessary, I can make a great impact in fighting poverty in our communities.

    Meaning, it has come to my knowledge that a person who is educated has more options than someone who is illiterate. By using the ICT to community level, we can make people to have more options.

    The reason why our youth go to Universities then come back and do nothing, it’s because they are not empowered as individuals. Creating empowerment programs for young people is a true investment. If our little children are empowered from an early age, we can have societies that are better, because teenager will be preoccupied with important things.

    If every South African can understand the true intention of the ICTs, they could embrace this change and give themselves a chance for innovation and creativity. We must not be intimidated by this new system that is brought to enhance development to human beings.

    Thank you for the platform to express myself. I hope for a swift response that will make true difference in individuals’ lives.

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