Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday told a gathering of the world’s leading technology innovators that Africa as a continent was open for business and “it is the best next thing for the world”.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)Telecom world conference at Durban's Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.

The country was represented by Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele, acting premier of KZN Sihle Zikalala, senior government officials and CEOs and captains of industry.

Ramaphosa told the delegates that he expected great suggestions and innovation from them “so that we can improve a lot of humanity in the world”.

“This is the most important sector of various economies around the world... the telecommunications sector. We as Africans feel proud and honoured that ITU has chosen to come to Africa and KZN to host this event. ITU provides a guide and compass for the future, to navigate this new bright and brave world that many countries are traversing to understand the meaning of the new technology. The deliberations taking place here will concern the economy and society that we are building for tomorrow.”

He said this was the dawn of a digital revolution that will reshape the way we live and relate to each other.

“The digital revolution must respond to the needs of the developing worlds and its economies. It must enhance the growth of economies and contribute to overcoming some of the challenges the world is facing including unemployment, poverty and inequality.”

Ramaphosa said as the world develops technology, it must not be the preserve of the elite but must be technology that can be utilised by all.

“We must solve some of the world’s greatest technology challenges. These decisions will determine if the fourth industrial revolution will change people’s lives or become the threat that so many people currently fear.”