ZAIGF 2022 - Welcome Address

molehe wesiMr. Molehe Wesi, the Chief Executive Officer of the ZA Domain Name Authority, began his introductory remarks by welcoming the participants and recognising their contributions.

He added that the purpose of the ZA Youth in IGF is to develop a platform that would inspire and motivate young people to become more interested and involved in internet regulatory discussions. Mr Wesi went on to explain that platforms such as the ZAIGF empower young people to be part of those discussions, and shape their lives and future.

“South Africa's youth are taking initiative and planning their future in digital South Africa.”

Mr. Wesi stated that social media plays a significant role in enabling access to simpler and less expensive means of communication. He argued that the internet and social media are relatively new but it has penetrated + 70% of the global population, and it is expected to increase to +90% by 2026. He stressed that in South Africa, a third of the population is comprised of young adults between the ages 14 - 34, and 3.5% of the population is below the age of 30 years, it is important for young people to participate in discussion about how to make internet use a "smoother" and “quicker” experiences. Mr. Wesi highlighted again the significance of the Youth ZA Internet Governance Forum. He noted that participation in the ZA Youth in IGF will produce in meaningful ideas and urged the youth to ensure that they are heard.

Mr. Wesi concluded his introductory remarks by challenging the audience to seek solutions that will ensure the closing of the digital skills gap and prepare young people for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

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