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SA begins countdown to ITU telecoms conference


South Africa is ready to host the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) telecom and ICT industry event in Durban next month.

This is according to telecoms and postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele, speaking about SA becoming the first African nation to host the ITU Telecom World conference.

Minister Siyabonga Cwele spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2017 ITU Telecom World in South Korea. (Photo source: ITU)

Telecom World is an ITU initiative for the global ICT industry and brings together government and industry leaders to explore challenges, partnerships and solutions, and to identify investment opportunities and best practices for socio-economic development through ICT.

This year's conference will take place at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 10 to 13 September under the theme "Innovation for a Smarter Digital Development". It is expected to attract over 7 000 delegates and contribute between R60 million and R80 million to the economy.

According to a statement, over the four days, industry players will hold discussions about emerging technologies and innovations such as crypto-currency.

Cwele notes the conference will be a space for the country's innovators to showcase the very best SA has to offer in the ICT industry. "This conference has a lot of advantages. The first is to showcase what we can do in terms of new technologies as a country, and secondly, it tells the world that we are open to investment.

"We are looking at particular investment so that we can create jobs, invest in data and innovation centres and new modern factories for production.

"We are expecting people from government, regulators and industry. They will be coming to share ideas and innovation on how we can prepare ourselves for the fourth industrial revolution. They will also share information on the upcoming types of networks for 5G networks and what is possible in terms of production for this revolution."

The minister also notes the conference should go beyond attracting traditional telecoms companies but should also attract other sectors of the economy.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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