UK BUMPS UP NATIONAL SECURITY AGAINST CYBER CRIME – IS THERE RELEVANCE FOR US?

School children in England will be offered lessons in cyber security in a bid to find the experts of the future to defend the UK from attacks. In the United Kingdom, the risk that criminals or foreign powers might hack into critical UK computer systems is now ranked as one of the top four threats to national security.  A Commons committee last week warned that a skills shortage was undermining confidence in the UK’s cyber defenses. So much so that classroom and online teaching, along with real-world challenges and work experience will be made available to school children from September 2017.  It is hoped that 5,700 pupils aged 14 and over will spend up to four hours a week on… Continue reading

THE ROLE OF E-LEARNING IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT

The South African public sector is faced with several major challenges, one being service delivery. The National School of Government (NSG) has a mandate to train public servants, across 156 government departments and approximately 3 million employees, so as to improve service delivery – a mandate which is directly impacted by South Africa’s skills shortage resulting in the need to pre-train public servants and having to train a large number of government employees in a short period of time. Training the required number of employees, face-to-face, presents a challenge, for example in scheduling and in employees having to be away from their day-to-day duties to attend, with a resultant impact on productivity, as well as cost. To minimise these challenges,… Continue reading

IT’S TIME TO TEACH THE TEACHERS

 What is the state of science, mathematics and ICT in secondary education in Africa?                               A World Bank working paper published in 2007 stated:  Secondary education and training (in Africa) (SEIA) will be one of the key factors for increased economic growth and social development. Recent developments in Asia and Latin America have shown these trends convincingly. SEIA graduates enter labour markets that increasingly demand modern knowledge and skills, readiness to take initiatives, and ability to solve problems and to innovate products and processes. SEIA is also indispensable for young people to become productive citizens and to lead healthy lives.1

THE STATE OF THE [DIGITAL] NATION

Why is it so important that President Jacob Zuma has paid attention to ICT in his SONA 2017? According to the NDP by 2020, 100 percent of South Africans will have access to broadband services at 2.5 percent or less of the population’s average monthly income, through the South Africa Connect initiative. Research indicates that ICT is essential to driving South Africa forward into the digital economy and into innovation that will unlock business opportunities that bring much-needed employment and economic growth.

SOUTH AFRICAN STARTUP IOT.NXT IS PLOTTING AN INTEROPERABILITY REVOLUTION

In the news:  The Internet of Things (IoT) is being called the fourth industrial revolution due to the scale of impact it can have on various industries, with McKinsey saying interoperability will unlock 60 per cent of the estimated US$4 trillion to US$11 trillion of economic value that will be generated by the IoT by 2025.Given the importance placed on interoperability by the likes of McKinsey, the team at IoT.nxt believes it has developed an innovation that can put Africa at the heart of the IoT revolution. Centurion-based start-up IoT.nxt is plotting an internet revolution from South Africa with the company having developed software that allows virtually all devices to be connected and to share information.  Launched in October of last year… Continue reading

PoPI COMPLIANCE WILL REQUIRE EMPLOYEES WITH E-SKILLS

PoPI refers to South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act, No 4 of 2013, which seeks to regulate the processing of Personal Information – promoting the protection of this personal information by public and private bodies. PoPI may not yet have been made effective; however businesses to which PoPI applies would be wise to make compliance one of their top priorities for 2017. Reaching compliance is a convoluted and expensive process and could conceivably take more than 12 months. The Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act has been signed into law by the President on 19 November and published in the Government Gazette Notice 37067 on 26 November 2013. Once the Act is made effective, companies will be given a… Continue reading

NON-EXISTENT CAREER GUIDANCE SUSTAINS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

How do we combat misconception and the lack of knowledge regarding ICT careers in South Africa? South Africa has an ever-growing shortage of skills in ICT.  It will take a concerted effort from government, education and business to help the country build the skills capacity needed to develop a digital economy.   Widespread research indicates that learners’ interests and career choices, including a career in ICT, are influenced by parents, teachers, career counsellors, and personal role models. How does this play into South Africa’s skills shortage? The lack of adequate career guidance from teachers and parents South African schools do not appoint full-time career or guidance counsellors, and teachers and parents have limited knowledge of the ICT career opportunities available. Scholars… Continue reading

ARE WE THERE YET? SOUTH AFRICA’S UNIVERSAL SERVICE AND ACCESS OBLIGATION (USAO) FRAMEWORK IN REVIEW

Internet access is an essential prerequisite for meaningful individual and national participation in South Africa’s knowledge economy, and removing barriers to this access serves broader national socio-economic policy imperatives in line with the government’s National Development Plan.  However, two-thirds of South Africans are offline, unable to access the Internet  despite a vibrant domestic telecommunications sector featuring two fixed-line telephony companies, four mobile network operators, several Internet service providers, a growing number of virtual mobile network operators and five high-capacity fibre submarine cables connecting the country to international Internet infrastructure. 1