South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) officials, among others, and chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma at "Netreprenuers: The Rise of Africa's Digital Lions" in Johannesburg. Picture: UNCTAD/Twitter
Johannesburg - Science and Technology Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, on Wednesday said that the South African government was aiming to increase funding of research in the technology sector in a bid to assist entrepreneurs in the innovation field to grow their businesses 

Kubayi-Ngubane said that the digital economy relied heavily on innovation, and thus it was crucial for the policy framework to be comprehensive and allow for the creation of an ecosystem that includes research, innovation and commercialisation of innovations.

"We have for instance the Technology Innovation Agency, which is an entity under our portfolio, ready to assist innovators to commercialise their products. We invest as government in our young people with ideas and we also invite private investors to partner with us in making a success of the digital economy," Kubayi-Ngubane said.

"In South Africa, we would like to increase our funding for research as a proportion of our GDP to 1.5 percent and we also incentivise companies that conduct research through tax rebates. We have much clearer policy of intellectual property developed by the Department of Trade ad Industry and we require investors to come a work with young innovators to commercialise these innovations."

Kubai-Ngubane was speaking at the launch of  the "Netpreneur Prize" initiative established by the Alibaba Foundation. The initiative has been established to create a community of 1 000 young e-commerce entrepreneurs from developing countries years to receive grants totalling U.S.$10 million by 2030.

African News Agency/ANA