TECHNOLOGY FOR INNOVATION

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TECHNOLOGY FOR INNOVATION

EVERYWHERE you go, people talk about the importance of skills.A new youth skills development centre such as the Siyafunda Community Technology Centre, in Ekurhuleni, play such an important role.The Siyafunda Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and 4IR Centre is a new lab donated by SAP Africa, a software development company, to give local communities private space for skills development. It allows experimentation in fields such as coding, robotics and 3D printing technologies.Michael Kleinemeier, a member of the executive board, said: “Our mission is to build digital skills centres. According to the World Economic Forum, nearly two-thirds of children entering school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist.“In line with broader government efforts to empower young people with essential information communication technology skills, this new centre will ensure that our future talent force can compete on an equal footing in tomorrow’s global digital economy.”The Siyafunda Community Technology Centre brings computers, the internet and other digital technologies to the local community to help people gather information, create, learn and communicate with others while developing essential and relevant digital skills.The centre provides essential skills to the youth, the unemployed and people with disabilities.He said collaboration between the public, private and community sectors has already produced outstanding outcomes as African youth are empowered with the basic skills needed to enter the types of jobs that will drive the 21st century digital economy. “SAP Africa has supported the Siyafunda Community Technology Centres for more than a decade and has been the major supporter of the First Lego League Robotics programme in South Africa. In addition, our Africa Code Week initiative last year introduced 2.3 million African youth – of which 46% were female – across 37 countries to basic coding skills,” he said. Cathy Smith, managing director at SAP Africa, told the People’s Paper the centre will serve as an important resource for local communities as they build 21st century digital skills.“Innovation belongs to us, and yet according to the World Bank, more than half of all global citizens are excluded from the digital economy,” she said.

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