Grasping the opportunities afforded by the Information Age is at the heart of the province’s strategy. The readiness to adopt new technologies, an innovative capacity and first class infrastructure and services are essential if the province is to attract and retain inward investment, stimulate job creation and ensure a fully inclusive society.
The development of an inclusive information society in the Western Cape is dependent on collective action that recognises the broad, complex and interconnected nature of the issues involved. The network of stakeholders, allies and peers is correspondingly broad and complex, covering the private sector, academic sector, NGOs, all spheres of government and communities. In seeking to implement an information society agenda, a collaborative approach is necessary.
In a developing country, the participation of all stakeholders is critical, especially if the key objectives in developing the information society are social and economic development. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) reiterates the principle that “the effective participation of governments and all stakeholders is vital in developing the Information Society … requiring cooperation and partnerships among all of them”. Other research indicates that when working in an ICT for development context, that government, industry, civil society, and the community, all need to work together to create conditions that will enable the poor to overcome their poverty, build their physical, economic and social assets, improve their capabilities, safeguard their security and reduce their risks and vulnerability to various external shocks. Any approach using ICT in the interest of socio-economic development has to be broad-based and tailored to various sectors and build inter-linkages.
African Ideas has been appointed as Strategy and Readiness Advisor to the Western Cape Broadband initiative and has guided the development of the strategy and the implementation of all key initiatives from the inception of the project. We help the Western Cape navigate the complex and interconnected issues, as well as interact with the diverse set of stakeholders, to produce outcome that will make a significant difference for generations to come.