Wesley Diphoko is the Editor-In-Chief of the Fast Company magazine in South Africa. You can reach out to him via email: wesley@fastcompany.co.za or Twitter: @WesleyDiphoko
Wesley Diphoko is the Editor-In-Chief of the Fast Company magazine in South Africa. You can reach out to him via email: [email protected] or Twitter: @WesleyDiphoko

The Infonomist: It's time to develop the 2030 tech and innovation plan

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Jan 31, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -  South Africa has 10 years to realise its National Development Plan (NDP) and 2030 goals, however, this plan lacks a clear 2030 Technology and Innovation plan.

It has been argued that the government has failed to implement the plan. This is far from the truth.

The reality, however, is that it’s other sectors of society that have not come to the party in the process of implementing the NDP 2030 plan. There’s currently no blueprint that outlines how technology will enable South Africa to achieve this national goals.

Where is the technology and innovation community’s response to the NDP?

In an ideal world technology and innovation leaders as well as businesses would have outlined how they will use technology and innovation to realise the NDP 2030 goals.

How is it that by now there’s no clear picture of what technology will deliver for South Africa by 2030?

Other nations are gunning for the future and a coherent technology plan as we already bear witness to the havoc the Fourth Industrial Revolution is reaping as skills sets become outdated.

South Africa needs to craft a plan that outlines what will it take to build our country as an innovation nation.

It also needs to outline the kind of jobs that will be created by technology by 2030.

It needs to paint  a picture of South African health tech plan and how the National Health Insurance will be enabled by technology .

Technology will change the type of education system that South Africa uses, which also needs to be clarified.

South African innovators and innovative companies need to to come together and outline how they will contribute towards the realisation of the 2030 NDP goals.

And although some companies have developed their own blueprints an  integrated vision led by industry is lacking.

There’s no better time than now  to craft this plan for South Africa. The country is sitting on a lot of unfocused talent.

This challenge has inspired Fast Company magazine to create a national innovation platform in the form of a conference that facilitates the creation of such a plan. On the March, 5, Fast Company with Business Report as a media partner will bring together innovation leaders as well as other stakeholders under one roof to begin a process that will outline how technology and innovation can address national challenges and assist in realising NDP 2030 goals.

At the same time Fast Company will also recognise some of the companies that are using technology and innovation to resolve challenges in society.

Technology companies, hubs, academics as well as entrepreneurs are called upon to dedicate the March 5 as a day that will shape how South Africa will respond to the upcoming digital onslaught.

The technology and innovation community (start-up founders, researchers, technology professionals, designers and others) is called upon to recognise the contribution of its members thus far through the Most Innovative Companies awards.

Government leaders are also invited to engage with some of the leading minds in technology and innovation to collaborate towards developing the technology and innovation blueprint of South Africa.

In the next decade the technology and innovation community should celebrate the adoption and implementation of technology and innovation in society. In 2030 South Africa should be known in the continent as an innovation nation that used technology and innovation to solve its challenges. But such a possibility all starts with a cohesive plan. It is time to put South Africa's bright minds together for a bright future.

Wesley Diphoko is the Editor-In-Chief of the Fast Company magazine in South Africa. You can reach out to him via email: [email protected] or Twitter: @WesleyDiphoko 


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