mLab, MICT Seta partnership equips SA for 4IR challenges

A partnership between mLab South Africa and a government agency in South Africa is poised for a number ICT-related interventions. This will enable people to be prepared to face the challenges and opportunities that a technology-infused future brings.

mLab, a mobile solution laboratory and start-up accelerator has partnered up with the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority, MICT Seta, also known as. 

mLab is a technology-centred organization that partners with other businesses to create a robust, vibrant innovation ecosystem. This not-for profit organisation identifies and nurtures tech-talent among youth and supports budding entrepreneurs and their fledgling companies. It also creates tech that makes a difference and improves the lives for ordinary South Africans.

mLab’s headquarters are located in Pretoria, Gauteng, with provincial offices in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. It has academies located in Tembisa and Tshwane as well as Soweto, Polokwane, Kimberley, and Soweto to ensure its skills academy is accessible to as many people possible. It also has programmes in other Southern African regions and is able, according to media releases, to offer international opportunities to programme participants.

This partnership is made against the backdrop of more than half the world’s nearly two billion youth not having the skills and qualifications required to take part in a future that will be characterized by the convergence of new technology domains.

This is commonly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0.. This dire shortage of skills translates to more than 50 % of tomorrow’s human capital being potentially unprepared to enter the workforce. This will only make the existing gap between those who can and those who cannot be prepared for 4IR worse.

Intervention at the highest level by MICT Seta and mLab

This partnership between mLab, MICT Seta will address the urgent challenge of South Africa by a variety of interventions, including ecosystem building, accredited skills training, workforce development programs, and public policy.

“The agreement between the two parties brings South Africa closer to the National Development plan; Vision 2030,” says mLab chief executive Nicky Koorbanally.

“It is set to boost the economy, reduce unemployment, increase investment and combat inequalities by upskilling and reskilling South Africans to keep up with the rapidly changing labour market.”

Matome Madibana, chief executive of MICT Seta, stressed that the strategic partnership was further established to empower and enable youth across the country. This is through the creation of an empowering and enabling environment for them to thrive and optimally participate in the mainstream digital economy. The MICT Seta chief executive Matome Madibana highlighted that the MICT Seta has created mind-blowing solutions and applications that can improve their living conditions.

The extension of the partnership is until 31 March 2024.

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