The South African government and Cisco have announced a plan to focus on the country’s digital future.

More specifically a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was singed between minister of the department of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, and Clayton Naidoo, GM for Sub Saharan Africa at Cisco, outlining the key areas of cooperation when it comes to SA’s digital future.

The MoU forms part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme and contributes to South Africa’s National Development Plan for 2030. The former is a global programme aimed at accelerating national digitisation agendas to support job creation, innovation and help drive economic growth and sustainable and equitable communities.

As such it’s an agreement that potentially bodes well for the country.

“How we respond to the 4IR must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all players from the private and public sector, academia, government and civil society. It is for this reason that the department led the Coordinate.Collaborate.Execute Industry 4.0 engagement forum in October 2018 to harmonise all efforts aimed at adequately preparing South Africa for the 4IR,” notes Ndabeni-Abrahams.

“Working with our partners we will  build a capable talent pool that is equipped with the requisite skills and opportunities, making sure that the workforce is ready for the revolution,” the minister adds.

The firm is also optimistic of the developments and changes to the local tech landscape this agreement will bring.

“At Cisco, we see technology at the heart of our digital future, driving inclusive economic growth, creating jobs and igniting innovation. Since opening our first office in Johannesburg 30 years ago, Cisco has been committed to South Africa, working on projects that make the benefits of the Internet and technology available to broad groups of the society,” says Naidoo.

“With the launch of the South Africa CDA programme, we open a new chapter in our long-standing partnership, creating value for the country, its citizens and businesses,” he concludes.

With the MoU outlining three specific areas where Cisco can best contribute to South Africa’s digitisation objectives – skills and talent development, job creation, and national cyber security – it will be interesting to see how those areas are improved in coming years.

[Image – Cytonn Photography on Unsplash]