Policy Brief: Enhancing the Emerging Digital Technologies Ecosystems in South Africa

The project team has completed a review of the emerging digital technology ecosystems in Kenya and South Africa. This included assessment of the level of maturity of the ecosystems. The key messages for policymakers from the studies follow.

Key Messages from South Africa

  • South Africa is a rising powerhouse of research, innovation and use of emerging digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, geographic information systems (GIS), internet-of-things (IoT), and new-generation data analytics.
  • South Africa is at the growth stage of its emerging digital technology (EDT) innovation ecosystem with a growing set of dedicated education programmes, an expanding research and innovation environment and a vibrant private sector utilising these technologies.
  • To ensure movement from growth to maturity of the EDT ecosystem, South African policymakers need to intensify efforts to bridge the skills and capabilities gaps through more advertising of existing education and training opportunities and increased dedicated EDT- related funding programmes. The continued movement towards an agile regulatory environment and stronger engagement with recognition of the needs of different, end users are also required.

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