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Keynote Address by Deputy Minister – Hon. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

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SPEAKING NOTES FOR THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES, MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS AT THE ICT YOUTH BOOTCAMP
15 NOVEMBER 2017
The 4th Industrial Revolution in the South African context and the role ICT Youth SMMEs need to play
 
Programme Director,
Leadership of Abuti Rams Consultancy
Distinguished guests,
Members of the media,
 
I extend warm greetings to you this morning.
 
It is indeed a pleasure to be in the presence of young people, captains of the ICT industry, who are congregated during this Global Entrepreneurship Week, to explore ways on how to grow your respective brands through digital platforms; and compete both locally and globally.
 
Programme Director,
The era of the 4th Industrial Revolution is dominated by trends related to mobile technologies, cloud computing, smart connected devices, cyber physical systems and robotic technology; amongst many others.
 
It has seen the emergence of new energy supplies and technologies, Internet of Things (IOT), advanced manufacturing and 3D printing and artificial intelligence (IA).
 
The 4th Industrial Revolution presents opportunities to developing countries has the potential to raise global income levels, thereby improving the quality of life for people and opening up new markets due to improved technological innovation and.
 
As we move towards this industrial revolution, it is imperative to note that new technologies and digital platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with government by voicing their opinions in a coordinated manner, which will circumvent the supervision of public authorities.
 
The 4th Industrial Revolution will profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and nature of cyberspace and cyber-warfare.
 
In terms of business, it will invariably force big companies to re-examine the way that they conduct business by aligning with local innovators.
 
For communities, the 4th Industrial Revolution will not only change what society and people are used to doing daily but also of who they are; challenging cultural practices and traditions.
 
Inevitably, people will be required to have new sets of skills to access employment opportunities and career advancement.
 
Distinguished guests,
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has been tasked to facilitate a country approach on the 4th Industrial Revolution with all the relevant stakeholders.
 
In this respect, government has prioritised the development of SMMEs as a crucial milestone for employment, wealth creation, development of innovations and contribution to economy. This is supported by legislative and policy frameworks that support the development of SMMEs and cooperatives.
 
This includes, amongst others, the National Small Business Act which provides an overall legislative framework on the development of SMMEs across various sectors of the economy.
 
Programme Director,
My Department has further developed the National ICT Integrated White Paper Policy, which provides the new policy framework for the ICT sector and specifically addresses barriers to entry for SMMEs to participate in the sector. This policy was approved by Cabinet in September 2016.
 
On the 1st November 2017, Cabinet also approved the ICT SMME Development Strategy, which is a sector specific intervention to address challenges facing SMMEs operating in the ICT sector.
 
The strategy proposes interventions to accelerate the development and growth of small enterprises in the ICT sector, whilst facilitating an increase in the levels of uptake and usage of ICTs by the general small business sector.
 
These interventions include, opening up of both the telecommunications and IT sectors for SMMEs to effectively participate and compete on providing ICT services.
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
My department, through partnerships with relevant key stakeholders, will also focus more on relevant skills development initiatives to respond to the 4th Industrial Revolution opportunities.
 
Such identified skills include: ICT and e-literacy, software and applications development, e-commerce, cloud computing, website development and web hosting, business and financial management skills.
 
We have also committed to forge partnerships with municipalities and key stakeholders to establish ICT Hubs in townships to support rural enterprises. This is in appreciating the need to decentralise services so as to benefit all citizens of the country.
 
However, as we forge ahead on this quest, it is worth noting that government continues to experience challenges in the rollout of SMME development programmes due to a lack of an integrated national database of SMMEs in the ICT sector.
 
There are many SMME groups including associations which are currently fragmented and are at various levels of development. The Department has responded to this challenge by creating a single integrated database of all SMMEs in the ICT sector so as to enable harmonisation and coordination of ICT SMME initiatives.
 
These are some of the interventions introduced by the ICT SMME Development Strategy, which aims to support start-up ICT enterprises, strengthen existing enterprises and extend support to potentially viable SMMEs.
 
I therefore urge you to read this important ICT Sector SMME Development Strategy.
 
As we embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to move towards diversified economies driven by productivity. Our economy need to develop more tech-savvy entrepreneurs who will be able to respond to technological developments as introduced by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
 
It is important to also leverage on opportunities presented by this technological revolution to address the socio-economic challenges that South Africa is facing. As entrepreneurs, let us remember that our primary motive is to solve problems in our community. As ICT entrepreneurs, let our drive be to use ICT technologies to provide solutions to our people through innovation.
 
With this being said, allow me to conclude by congratulating the programme organisers – Abuti Rams Consultancy – as this Bootcamp further serves as the official launch of digiTAAL – a training programme to support SMMEs in townships and rural areas who have minimal ICT Skills.
 
Let us continue to use ICT technologies to create jobs and reduce poverty in our country, and further improve and strengthen our township economy through innovative means.
 
I thank you.

ICT Youth Bootcamp

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Abuti Rams Consultancy (ARC) in partnership with the Standard Bank Incubator and Geekulcha will host an ICT Youth Bootcamp during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) for rural and township SMMEs on 15 November 2017 at the SB Incubator in Rosebank. The objective of the Bootcamp is to provide a platform for A-Level influencers within the South African ICT industry, government and its agencies, youth ICT innovators, young professionals and youth-owned SMMEs to explore through discussions and workshops strategic ways on how they can grow their brands through digital platforms to compete both locally and globally.

The Bootcamp will also serve as an official launch of digiTAAL – a training programme to support SMMEs in townships and rural areas who have minimal ICT Skills. The 6-month programme is a five-phased ICT intervention to combat the day-to-day business challenges that SMMEs face. This includes ICT Youth Bootcamps, ICT Skills Pre-Assessment, Capacity Building Workshops, Ongoing Online Mentorship Programme, Progress Check Workshops and the ICT Skills Post-Assessment.

The carefully selected 150 SMMEs and professionals will benefit from the various highly relevant, multi-focused presentations, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, workshops and opportunities to network with policy makers and thought leaders with the ICT industry.

The ICT Youth Bootcamp key pillars of discussion include workshops and presentations on:

  • Skills Development: e-business, e-literacy, e-practitioner and e-government-user skills development;
  • International best practice exchange: African countries’ ICT success stories;
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution in the South African context and the role ICT Youth SMMEs need to play;
  • ICT SMMEs Business Opportunities and process plans to support SMMEs; and
  • Cyber Security threats and solutions.

Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) Honourable Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will deliver a keynote address at the Bootcamp. Workshops will be conducted by our partners which include: MTN Business, CSIR, AD Dynamo, Standard Bank, NEMISA, Geekulcha, IBM, Microsoft, DTPS.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Time: 8:00am – 5pm

Venue: Standard Bank Incubator, Rosebank

Email: events@abutirams.co.za

Phone: 012 771 4705

Registration: http://www.abutirams.co.za/event/ict-youth-bootcamp/

Abuti Rams congratulates Pule Sir on his new appointment

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It is with great honour to announce that one of our own leaders Mr Tshepang Pule better known by thousands as Pule Sir who joined a Brits North West community station – Madibeng FM as both content producer and presenter for “The Early Birds” show from 3-6 in the morning.

It was 2013 when I told Mr Pule that he has an incredible voice for radio and that his talent and passion to inspire and inform definitely belongs on the radio waves. Pule Sir never took that for granted, he worked hard to better his craft and today we celebrate his achievement with him. This is the beginning of many opportunities in the media space.

I have had the pleasure of working Pule on the #BeyondInspiration project and launched it in 2015. The book has been touching thousands of lives across the country. He is one of the most trustworthy, effective, dedicated, very punctual and efficient leaders I’ve ever worked with.

You can agree with me that media is one of the important sectors of the society that influences opinions and shapes views of the masses. Thus, we need powerful and influential young people who are going to bring back the dignity and pride of out beautiful country with excellency.

This year is a year of maximisation and as a growing movement, we are excited to see one of our own taking over in the media space. Our leaders not only preach excellency, but they also lead by example.

As Pule Sir adds yet another title in his profile, we take pride in the work he has done for the movement over the years. The daily inspirational content we receive on our social media platforms and our newsletters are results of his hard work.

We trust that God is lifting him up to greater heights.

Don’t forget to tune into to Madibeng fm 105.3 or visit www.madibengfm.co.za to listen online.

– Abuti Rams

#Maximise2017 #TheMoveIsOn #AgentsOfChange