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Cyril Ramaphosa mentions technology in state of nation address

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, included the following in his state of the nation address: “Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage rapid technological change. This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation. We will soon establish a digital industrial revolution commission, which will include the private sector and civil society, to ensure that our country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology. The drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks. We will finalise our engagements with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces the cost to consumers.” Meanwhile Research ICT Africa has submitted comments on the country’s Electronic Communications Amendment Bill in response to an invitation by the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services. “The bill is an important document that may have a significant impact on the telecoms sector of the country. It seeks to implement and give effect to the policy objectives set out in the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, published in October of 2016. One of our main concerns is that the Bill undermines the independence of ICASA [the regulator]. There is an undercurrent throughout the bill that asserts the role of the department/minister over that of ICASA, and downgrades the independence of the latter. In our view, this may render the bill unconstitutional. It also reflects a lack of appreciation of the centrality of effective regulation in an effectively functioning ICT ecosystem.” State of the nation address here / ICT Africa

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

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