The Cape Digital Foundation believes that Smart Townships are Africa’s Smart Cities of the Future. There are five core pillars in a Smart Township’s construct:
- Digital infrastructure
- Affordable connectivity
- Digital skills
- Local content
- Data collection
The technical enablement of smart citizens living in Smart Townships connects the unconnected. It inspires digital infrastructure investing, grows digital skills, and facilitates the production of contextually relevant content that stimulates the uptake and use of technology.
Digital training in Imizamo Yethu begins in July
Phase one of Cape Digital Foundation’s mandate to stimulate the advance of Smart Townships is currently focused within Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay. This township has a population of approximately 35000, with a physical footprint that is contained by its geography. When it comes to proof of concept, the township’s clearly delineated boundary is a critical factor in ensuring that accurate monitoring and evaluation can take place.
Affordable, premium quality connectivity
The Foundation is partnering with TooMuchWifi in bringing premium, yet affordable Internet connectivity to hotspots in Imizamo Yethu. It is inspiring to see how this connectivity has already begun to stimulate township business.
Mobile technology training for SMMEs
Now, the first training programme, “Mobile Technology In Support of SME Business” will start on 31 July 2018 when, in partnership with in the University of the Western Cape’s WesternCapeCoLab for eInclusion and Social Innovation, twenty-five micro and small business owners with limited resources, living in Imizamo Yethu, will receive training on how to use their smart phones as a tool to better administer and grow their businesses – and to take their product to a broader market.
Further training modules
In addition a training course on managing digital identity will commence on 3rd August followed in the very near future by a basic digital skills course aimed at individuals. This training programme will focus on unemployed youth with a particular focus on young women who it has been observed typically take their newfound digital skills back into their households and pass them on to their family members. Watch this space for news.
Scaling up to meet the digital future
The Cape Digital Foundation’s longer-term goal is the roll-out of future digital skills training that will see affordable internet connectivity and training programmes scaled up with a view to blanket-covering a growing number of densely populated, yet presently drastically underserved areas to ensure widespread, affordable infrastructure and connectivity, the improvement of digital skills, increased production of relevant content, and the provision of valuable demand-led data and insights.