Earlier this week the Department of Science and Technology (DST) unveiled a new roadmap for the country after Cabinet approved the white paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) (PDF).
According to IT Web, the new roadmap identifies the fourth industrial revolution as a key focus, placing STI at the centre of the country’s development, and it aims to help SA take advantage of rapid technological advancements.
“The approval by Cabinet positions the country to stand ready to reap the benefits of global developments such as a rapid technological advancement and geopolitical and demographic shift, while responding to the threats associated with some of these global trends,” said Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
IT Web adds that the white paper replaces the 1996 version on Science and Technology, and aligns it with the objectives of government’s National Development Plan. The white paper also aims to help build the country’s full potential and grow the role of STI over the next 15 years.
According to the Minister, the new white paper policy looks to raise the profile of STI in the country by instilling an innovation culture and integrating STI into government planning at the highest level. The Department will then embark on a decadal plan for STI, which will serve as an implementation blueprint for the white paper between now and 2029.
“Of all the technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence is poised to have the most disruptive impact on the place of humans in economic production. As such this new policy gives us an opportunity to better prepare for what lies ahead and ensure South Africa becomes one of the global centres of science, technology and innovation,” concluded Kubayi-Ngubane.