Sponsored: Applying technology for inclusive economic growth

Huge importance is placed by MTN on its relationship with government, grounded in MTN’s belief system that every citizen deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. This is one of the reasons for the company’s ongoing and consistent support for GovTech ICT Conference.

01 November 2023

Applying technology for inclusive economic growth.

This year’s GovTech is described by MTN as another world-class event, underlining why MTN is a major GovTech sponsor, working towards moving the country and its economy forward through enabling government to interact digitally with all its citizens.

From the exhibition to the interaction in person and through social media platforms with government officials, the tracked sessions and sidebar forums, plenary forum and the gala dinner, MTN has a significant presence, enabling it to collaborate with other public and private sector technologists, to bring the public sector vision closer to reality. The MTN awards at GovTech are also important as recognising innovation encourages innovation.

According to MTN, what was a very positive take-away message this year is seeing a mutual desire for progress and a highlight was witnessing the much more coherent and coordinated approach, based upon the narrative from the different government officials around their roles in technology. 

Technology has become a pervasive component of everything government is doing to create inclusive growth, drive job creation and contribute to the economy. 

Presently, some 23% of household income is from social grants and this underlines the dire need to stimulate the economy and apply and enable a structural social shift using technology.

Government wants to marry technology with the NDP and 4IR plans that have been put in place since 1994, to enable much needed change. This is where technologists and organisations like MTN can play a pivotal role.

MTN says South Africa’s economic growth is negligible and technology is quicker and less expensive to use to create access to jobs and open up trade opportunities. WiFi, for example, is not yet pervasive enough and this is just one of multiple platforms where MTN can deliver. 

Cloud natives

When considering that more than 50% of the population or some 27.5 million people make up Generation Z, an age group that has grown up cloud and technology natives, born in the technology era, these are future employees and the economic drivers that will take this country forward.

MTN believes that in the technology space, industry should also be developing and using the wealth of local talent this country has, reducing reliance on sourcing skills outside the country. While different government departments are still not effectively talking to each other to offer a seamless service to citizens, MTN stresses that despite gaps, promising strides have been made and pockets of excellence at elementary levels exist.

However, when discussing the value of such technologies as machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the bottom line is that the public sector needs to go back to basics and address pressing issues like archiving information and automating processes, auditing and record-keeping. 

Despite the obvious challenges, MTN sees many opportunities. In assessing the private sector’s pushing towards the digital economy and significant growth in the acceptance of online retail sales, there are hinge opportunities for the public sector. That almost 97% of South Africans have at least one phone is another major opportunity. Now MTN feels it is vital to harness the potential of the cloud-native population.

For more information on how MTN Business can co-create solutions for your business, contact us on: MTNBusiness.Marketing@mtn.com