GovTech’s 10th conference kicks off in Durban today with an opening keynote address from the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele (MP). GovTech is being held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban and is expected to attract up to 2 000 delegates.
Service delivery is a thematic focus of the presentations this year, with today’s lineup including a look at ‘How ICT can drive service delivery’ by Alpheus Mangale, Chief Business Enterprise Officer at MTN, and a second keynote this afternoon by Michael Jordaan, founder of MonteGray Capital and ex-FNB SA CEO, who will provide insights into how ‘Innovation and implementation will lead to delivery’.
As part of today’s proceedings, Minister Cwele will be opening a fully-equipped computer lab at Umlazi Comprehensive Technical High School (Comtech), installed by Sita as part of its ongoing CSI activities, which are aimed at bridging the digital divide. Sita has deployed appropriate infrastructure as well as skilling up the teachers and learners in the use of ICT to enable technology to be integrated into day to day teaching and learning.
Hosted by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Government Technology (GovTech) conferences were launched in 2006. The annual events have become renowned as premier platforms for ICT collaboration, capacity-building and information-sharing.
SITA’s inaugural ICT Public Service Awards were launched at this year’s conference, with the winners announced at a glittering Gala Dinner last night.
“This year our umbrella theme is Partnering for Service Delivery,” says SITA CEO Dr Setumo Mohapi. “Our sub-theme of Connecting Communities for Development and Growth is drawn from the announcement of the South Africa Connect broadband policy by the President in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year and looks at the crucial role the local sphere of government will play in the roll-out of the broadband programme.”
Reflecting this emphasis on delivery and access, and especially blurring the traditional urban-rural divide, GovTech 2015 has highlighted four key thematic tracks: Partnering for service delivery to create a better South Africa; Driving transformation through Government ICT demand; Connecting communities; and Economic growth through empowered communities.
“We are celebrating a decade of GovTech’s looking for practical and progressive ICT solutions for a developing nation,” says Dr Mohapi. “We have lined up acclaimed local and international speakers to stimulate our debate. With more countries in Africa continuing to record higher than average economic growth rates, we have also decided to open the conference to them so we can hear more about how ICT partnerships have contributed to African success stories.”