South Africa’s Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, opened the National Integrated ICT Policy Colloquium today (19 April 2012), where the Department of Communications (DoC) aims to offer industry a chance to review the DoC’s policies.
Pule said that the final policy has to be aligned with government’s developmental goals while addressing the challenges faced in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
These issues include:
- Attracting more women in ICT, as well as encouraging more young women to enter the ICT sector;
- Increased local R&D, conducted in environmentally friendly way.
“This review has to remove aspects of legislation that are irrelevant and are hindering economic development or growth,” Pule continued, explaining that they couldn’t afford to have a piece-meal approach to the policy review.
Pule said that such an approach would only allow certain policy holes to be closed rather than lay the foundation for a prosperous future.
The Minister went on to explain that from her deliberations with industry a consistent view has emerged that their policy needs to be realigned. Specifically, South Africa’s ICT policies are not be aligned to that of a development state, “[which] we are,” Pule said.
The ICT sector must respond to government’s objectives to create jobs, Pule said, and in particular industry must answer the following questions:
- How do we increase investment in local electronics manufacturing?
- How can we ensure that rural connectivity becomes a reality in broadband Internet?