CABINET ENDORSES 4IRSA INITIATIVE

The 4IRSA Partnership (derived from a “Partnership for the 4th Industrial Revolution in South Africa”) is an alliance between the Department of Communications and Telecommunications (DCT), Telkom, and the Universities of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and Fort Hare.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Partnership for South Africa (#4IRSA) is pleased to announce the dates for the Digital Economy Summit 2019, following a directive of the national Cabinet, February 2019.

#4IRSA is a partnership of some of South Africa’s premier public and private institutions. Its founding partners are the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Service (DTPS), Telkom SA SOC Ltd, and the Universities of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and Fort Hare.

The sole aim of #4IRSA is to stimulate dialogue and to serve as a catalyst to develop a coherent national response to the ongoing changes happening in our country and around the world, due to new technologies, business processes and production methods. These changes are often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, industry 4.0, and the new digital economy.

In pursuit of this goal, #4IRSA will host a Digital Economy Summit in Johannesburg on 05 July 2019. The summit will bring together representatives from industry, government, academia, labour, the research sector, the investor community, international experts and other critical stakeholders.

The objective of the summit is to create a platform through which to craft the strategies, investments, policy directions and other interventions necessary for South Africa to exploit the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0.

In its statement, the Cabinet affirmed the primacy of this goal for South Africa to meet its economic and developmental ambitions:

“The global move towards technology inspired by the 4IR brings with it new opportunities to build our society and economy. To remain at the forefront of new technological trends, the country will host the Digital Economy Summit in [July] 2019. The summit is convened under the banner of the #4IRSA Partnership. The #4IRSA Partnership aims to address the challenges facing South Africa in the Digital Age, to find a coherent and collective response for the country.”

The #4IRSA Partnership is pleased to have its work and efforts recognised and by endorsed by the national government at such a high level. This gives encouragement and affirmation that the efforts of our founding partners, though still at a nascent stage, have provided the necessary ignition to ensure success of the #4IRSA initiative. The government’s support will also give the process the boost needed for it to become a truly national collaborative effort.

Next steps

A series of sector-specific workshops are being held in the lead up to the summit. Workshops for the ICT and public sector have already taken place, and three more are planned. All entities that wish to be part of this process, should contact #4IRSA via the contact details provided below.

Invitations for attendance and participation in the Digital Economy Summit will be extended to all relevant stakeholders. Further communication regarding the conference programme and list of speakers will be shared in the coming weeks.

The #4IRSA Partnership looks forward to welcoming all stakeholders to the country’s first ever Digital Economy Summit in July 2019.