However, despite its size and potential, the digital content industry remains poorly defined and with few acceptable national or international standards for its measurement. This lack of benchmarking or clear definition for the industry poses a challenge to policy makers seeking to assist the growth of the industry.
Smart African cities and regions are positioning themselves to play a leading role in the growth of the digital economy on the continent. African Ideas is there to guide these cities and regions with effective strategies and implementation plans.
Example Project: Western Cape
The Western Cape Government (WCG) has adopted an aggressive telecommunications strategy that proposes making broadband Internet services accessible and affordable to every household in the Western Cape by 2020. To turn this strategy into reality, the WCG has embarked upon various initiatives in the broadband space, addressing various aspects of the value chain.
The digital content industry is clearly a very important part of this value chain and the development of a vibrant and innovative e-content cluster, is one of the priorities identified by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT).
African Ideas, is advising and guiding DEDAT in this process. In keeping with African Ideas human centred design thinking philosophy, where the people who face particular problems on a daily basis are the ones who hold the key to their answer, DEDAT is embarking upon a consultative and collaborative approach in this project.
The digital content field encompasses a wide range of industry sub-sectors either directly or indirectly. These include highly creative sectors such as those engaged in multimedia games development, digital Film and TV, music and visual arts, publishing, graphic design and advertising and marketing agencies. However, it can also include the more technical fields such as industrial designers, structural engineers, architects, sound engineers, those engaged in the spatial sciences (e.g. surveyors and map makers), and training and education services sectors.
The process of consultation and collaboration, guided and facilitated by African Ideas, encompasses this wide range of diverse stakeholders. Emerging from this process will be a practical strategy, roadmap and key initiatives guided by the actual needs of the industry. This is an innovative project that aims to move away from old style, bureaucratic, top down government planning to a more agile, human centred design thinking based approach.