ZAIGF 2022 - Keynote Address

palesa legozeMs. Legoze provided a brief history of the forum, and emphasized the significance of the ZAIGF in providing stakeholders with a voice. Ms. Legoze's account of the ZAIGF's history revealed the necessity of local perspectives on the digital age.

Ms. Legoze remarked that it has been seventeen years since the establishment of the World Forum in Tunisia, and while certain issues have been resolved, others endure. The digital divide, cyber security, local content, and affordable content are a few examples. She noted that the ever-changing nature of these obstacles makes it difficult to properly address them.

Ms. Legoze explained that the pandemic highlighted the digital divide in South Africa, especially among school-aged children. Children in school were required to study at home. However, learners from underprivileged communities were unable to learn due to a lack of resources. Ms. Legoze stressed that if this situation does not correct quickly, impoverished children will remain disadvantaged. Ms. Legoze went on to explain that ZADNA has launched a program to digitize all South African schools. The program would provide school children with access to learning platforms when they are not in school. It also allows parents to track their children's growth.

Concluding the keynote address, Ms. Legoze focused on the Forum's theme – South Africa in the Digital Age – describing South Africa's digital environment and highlighting the need for the following pillars to support digitalisation:

  • Skills gap — For future employment, youth must possess innovative skills.
  • Cybersecurity — The nation's cybersecurity remains weak due to a scarcity of domestically produced produces. This field need further investigation and development.
  • Affordable Access — For people to gain the benefits of digitalization, they must have affordable internet access.
  • Localized content — The content must be relevant and distinct to South Africans. Everyone should have access to the Internet to improve their life.
  • Domain names — Domain names must be priced affordably so that people can obtain them.
  • Artificial Intelligence — AI should emphasize human beings and promote human rights. Existing algorithms are occasionally prejudiced and discriminatory against specific races.
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