The Western Cape economy is moving from one based principally around the production and distribution of physical goods to one driven primarily by the production and application of knowledge. The creation and nurturing of a knowledge-based society is essential to maintaining and enhancing the Western Cape’s international competitiveness. In highly competitive regions in the global environment, high speed access to the internet for businesses and residents is available almost anywhere and at any time – providing the ideal enabling environment for the growth within commerce, industries, SMMEs and entrepreneurship, stimulating innovation and the enablement of the growth of other economic sectors by communication technologies.
African Ideas has been very active in creating and driving the e-education strategy and approach taken by the Western Cape Government (WCG).
African Ideas drove the concept of a schools wide area network (WAN) as an anchor of the provincial wide broadband. This fundamentally changes the way that schools can use technology to teach and learn, ultimately leading to improved education outcomes.
African Ideas CEO, Mr. Nirvesh Sooful, facilitated the first session with Education officials and other stakeholders, introducing concepts and ideas that eventually became the Western Cape Education Department's e-Vision document.
Emanating from this, an e-education business case was developed, extensive work was done looking the infrastructure, content, training, classroom and learner technologies, etc. that was needed to make this vision happen. African Ideas advised the WCG and the WCED throughout this process.
There is growing evidence that the diffusion of ICT is an accelerator of economic growth in a country (studies by the OECD, World Bank, Economic Commission for Africa, etc.). Broadband is being identified as a key contributor to economic growth and offering “opportunities for employment generation, creation of new sources of innovation and enhancement of industrial competitiveness” However, it is also important to note that the benefits of broadband will not be achieved by infrastructure alone. It is achieved by focussing on a combination of infrastructure, readiness and usage – with is a key feature of the strategic approach developed African Ideas for our clients.
Broadband is seen as a strategic enabler for all sectors of the economy. It enables the transmission of data across the globe, improved communication and the ability to transact almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, this kind of infrastructure is not widely available in South Africa and where it exists, it is often unreliable and very costly. This has been recognised and acted upon by National Government who, through the Department of Communications, have hastened to bring the National Broadband Policy to completion in December 2013, through the ratification of South Africa Connect. African Ideas was appointed as Strategy and Readiness Advisors to assist and guide the Western Cape Government in shaping the strategic plans for both the infrastructure and value added services.