ICT SMME and Skills Development

The core functions of this programme are vested in the ICT Academy. The objectives of the ICT academy are:

  • To retain the educated workforce in Limpopo

  • To attract investment,

  • To develop key clusters through knowledge creation, transfer and exploitation,

  • To enhance collaboration among businesses, universities, government and the civil society,

  • To bridge the digital divide,

  • To alleviate poverty through ICT, and

  • To serve the ICT needs of businesses and the public sector.

The ICT sector in under-developed in the province, there is a need for developing this sector to reach the next level. Thus new ICT companies need to be established, especially in the fields of ICT-related software and services. The challenge lies not only in raising the ICT skills levels in order to attract potential entrepreneurs but also in activating and motivating people to start their own businesses.

There is a mismatch between what institutions of higher learning produce and what the industry needs. There is a clear need for the establishment of an ICT Academy to address the current ICT skills gaps, mismatch and shortages.

Training and education can be divided into three main sectors: basic skills, basic working-life skills and advanced professional skills.

There is a need for developing ICT skills and capabilities at different levels and among different target groups. At least the following skills are required:

  • Programmers

  • Network technicians (still aligning with free and open-source software)

  • Network administrators

  • Network engineers (critical)

  • Data base designers and data base administrators

  • Computer literacy

  • Relevant functional specialists

  • Chief information officers (CIO’s)/government IT officers/chief technology officers

  • ICT project managers

  • Business analysts, process analysts and systems analysts

  • Innovators

  • Software engineers

  • Web designers and administrators.

One challenge, especially among adults, is the negative attitude towards computers. Thus the training and education for developing basic skills and capabilities should not only concentrate on the skill and capability side but also consider the attitudes and emotional hindrances of people.

2.3.1 Bottom-up development approach

The development of ICT should focus on job creation and economic stimulation and growth of youth, women and previously disadvantage groups. It should further support provincial plans to move from its current resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. It is important for training to address both basic & working-life ICT skills and advance ICT skills.

2.3.2 Partnerships

The success of the academy is solely dependent on partnerships, particularly Multinational Enterprises. It is not feasible for Limpopo Connexion to provide training directly. Limpopo Connexionwill assume the role of coordinator between partners to ensure the required skills are produced.

The BUG-C model, Business, Universities, Government and Citizens will be used facilitate incubation and business development.

ICT and logistics form the core of the concept as they represent areas which if not developed can slow or even hinder the development in economic sectors. Agriculture, tourism and mining sectors in are the main beneficiaries, and most of the activities related to the Living Lab executed through the Living Lab contribute to these economic sectors.

Training and education, innovative solutions, incubator and community projects form the four activity areas through which the four objectives mentioned earlier will be addressed.

2.3.3 Community Development

This Strategic Framework presents objectives, expected results and resourcing requirements for community development. The strategic objective is: “Community members empowered to participate in an inclusive information society and knowledge economy”. Special focus will be paid in addressing women, youth and disabled in the various projects and service offerings.

 

Limpopo Connexion replicates four programmes namely; Research, Development and Innovation, Application and Software Development, Telecommunication and Infrastructure, ICT SMME and Skills Development to the community centres in the Community Development programme. In addition Programme Management Office and Partnership & Collaboration addressing the vision “Transform Limpopo into a world class knowledge society”. Community Development provides leadership in relation to implementation of projects at the Community Development Centres.