Kimberley – On 5 & 6 February 2015 a very successful networking session was held by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT) in partnership with Sol Plaatje University (SPU) that brought together stakeholders across academia, industry, government and communities to discuss contributions to grow Kimberley, the greater Northern Cape and broader ICT economy.
The purpose of the session was for DEDaT in partnership with the SPU to convince mLab Southern Africa with codeX to bring in their expertise to open a lab in the Northern Cape. mLab is a mobile applications laboratory, which incubates innovation and entrepreneurship in the mobile channel, encouraging and supporting the use of mobile solutions in government service delivery. codeX is a developer apprenticeship program that teaches coding skills through work on real-world projects
Mr. S. Mabilo, Executive Manager for Economic Planning in DEDaT opened and welcomed everyone present at the session. Mr Johan Neethling from the Department of Science & Technology delivered a presentation on how they could assist in opening and administering a lab successfully. In addition, SPU announced that they would incorporate the programme as one of their courses at the university.
“Africa has the world’s fastest growing economies and youngest population, nearly all of whom connect with the world on mobile phones. In the next decade, the hundreds of millions of Africans who aren’t online already will be. Thousands and thousands of jobs will be created to meet the demands of a billion person digital economy across 54 countries. Many of those jobs are already here.” said Elizabeth Gould a veteran journalist and Executive Manager from Code X.
“We feel honored to be invited to such an exciting and important event. The Northern Cape is host to a number of impressive industries and projects, from a thriving agricultural industry specializing in scarce water resource management all the way to large science projects like the SKA, so the environment is ripe for innovation. Local youth are perfectly positioned to build sustainable tech businesses serving the future economy of this province and thats why we are here, to understand how we can support them through skills development and incubation.” said Derrick Kotze, CEO of mLab Southern Africa.
“Technology is the future”