African Press Association

Policies needed to speed South Africa’s digital agenda

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa is encouraged to set clear, effective policy and legal guidelines governing the new world of data as well as the cloud.

An expert said this would ensure the country truly embraced digital.

Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director of the Accenture Cloud First business in Africa, said against the backdrop of private and public sector technology transformation, questions remained how stakeholders could harness technology and digital in South Africa.

It has become critical to assess how frameworks and support structures that allow both government and the private sector to make the best use of technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence could be created.

These technologies, used meaningfully are anticipated to help solve challenges related to service delivery, education, health, transportation, employment and government accountability.

“However, a critical first step is accelerated thinking around the regulation and policy required,” Makwane said.

“For government and the private sector to be able to meaningfully embrace cloud technologies, a supportive digital environment is crucial.”

To emphasise his point, the expert highlighted the United Kingdom recently appointed Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO).

Further, the release of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework shows how governmental agencies elsewhere are beginning to plan for a digital future in a major way. “Embracing e-government is likely to be a trend we’ll witness more and more on a global scale,” Makwane said.

Makwane said preparing the public and private sectors for a digital future was a top global priority.

“To keep pace with tech- and to be ready to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise- we need to begin to think meaningfully around creating the kinds of environment in which digital can flourish.”
– CAJ News