Opening GovTech, the continent’s premier information communication technology conference, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies pledged that the government was focusing its efforts on being paperless by the end of the 6th administration.
Supported by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) chairperson, Makano Mosidi and delegates from across the African continent, including Zambia’s Minister of Science & Technology, Felix Mutati and Namibia’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Peya Mushelenga, Minister Ntshavheni told 2500 delegates including sponsors that the digitalisation programme aims to have 80% of citizen-facing services to be online by 2025, with government planning to go paperless by end the 6th administration
DIGITALLY INCLUSIVE INFORMATION SOCIETY
As part of the SA Connect strategy driven by SITA, the national broadband programme has been identified by government to meet the technology goals of the National Development Plan of creating a digitally inclusive information society.
“The evolving nature of doing business has set in motion the need to evolve government services for the shifting delivery platforms, service and content packing, and skills and capabilities needed to build, grow and sustain government services and societal development,” said Minister Ntshavheni.
Part of our priorities in evolving government services is supporting the development and consumption of African- developed digital products and services, not only through DigiTech App Store but all technology and solutions developed indigenously in Africa by both big and small industry players,” she said.
The GovTech’s three-day event features plenary sessions and presentations on the theme “Digitisation and digitalisation evolving government services, heard that the broadband connectivity programme will be implemented through emerging and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) such as internet service providers, wireless access providers and mobile virtual network operators.
The Government and ICT experts are meeting at the Durban Exhibition Centre until Thursday September 15th to collaborate and share experiences, challenges and solutions that can demonstrate the power of technology, improve service delivery and boost economic growth.
Expanding the use of digital technologies in the public service after the pandemic, assessing how digital solutions can stimulate the economy and supporting the development of small and medium-sized businesses will be among the key topics for discussion.
DIGITISATION VERSUS DIGITILISATION
Current issues related to cyber security and digital privacy, digital inclusion and pan-African cooperation will also be discussed during the round tables.
Unpacking the difference between digitisation and digitilisation, the SITA chairperson said digitization referred to changes within organisations for efficiency while digitalization referred to changing business models, creating new rules “starting to design from outside in.”
“Our theme aim to answer questions such as: What do our citizens want? How do we design and co-design and collaborate with them and for them so that we can come from outside in….I trust and I hope that the conference participants over the next three days will take stock and address specific government issues and challenges with boldness,” she said.
Pull-out quote: “Part of our priorities in evolving government services is supporting the development and consumption of African- developed digital products and services…” Ntshavheni.