Deputy Minister Philly Mapulane Addresses Limpopo Digital Summit: Bridging the Digital Divide and Empowering the Youth

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youth empowerment digital skills development

In commemoration of Youth Month, Deputy Minister Philly Mapulane spoke at the Limpopo Digital Summit. The theme for the 2023 Youth Month is “Accelerating youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future,” which reflects the importance of empowering the youth in South Africa’s journey towards progress.

Addressing Youth Unemployment through Digital Skills Development

With the number of unemployed youth reaching 4.9 million, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is called upon to intervene and empower the youth through digital skills development. Deputy Minister Mapulane emphasized the significance of digital literacy, coding, robotics, data analytics, data science, network engineering, internet of things, cloud computing, machine learning, software development, and engineering in addressing the challenges faced by young people today.

The National Digital and Future Skills Strategy

The Department has developed a National Digital and Future Skills Strategy aimed at equipping the citizens of South Africa with the necessary digital skills for the future. The strategy focuses on a well-coordinated drive to skill, re-skill, and up-skill the citizens through the collaboration of stakeholders.

Empowering Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) play a vital role in South Africa’s economy, providing employment opportunities, driving innovation, and contributing to economic growth. The Digitech SMME platform launched last year aims to overcome the obstacles faced by these businesses and contribute significantly to the nation’s prosperity.

Bridging the Gap through Data and Cloud Policy

The release of the Data and Cloud Policy aims to bridge the gap between government and citizens, as well as government and industry by enabling access to data and cloud services. This policy will facilitate cloud adoption across government departments and ensure compliance with data security and privacy requirements, and cost-optimization.

Achieving Affordable, High-Speed Internet Access for All

Mapulane emphasized the need for a social compact with all of society to ensure that no one is left behind in the ongoing digital transformation. The vision of affordable, high-speed internet access for all announced in the 2023 State of the Nation Address can only be achieved through collaborative efforts.

The Limpopo Digital Summit serves as a platform for further interrogating these issues and catalyzing progress in bridging the digital divide and empowering South Africa’s youth. Through digital skills development, empowering SMMEs, and bridging the gap through data and cloud policy, South Africa can build a brighter future for its citizens.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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