South Africa to Launch New ‘App Store’ and Artificial Intelligence Institute to Boost Tech Subjects

South Africa to Launch New ‘App Store’ and Artificial Intelligence Institute to Boost Tech Subjects

South Africa has announced plans to build an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute to improve the teaching of robotics and coding in public schools.

The AI Institute is being founded in collaboration with institutions of higher learning, particularly the Johannesburg Business School of the University of Johannesburg and the Tshwane University of Technology. According to Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni the institutions are co-founding institutions along with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

The minister speaking on the initiative added that the country must considerably investments to improve access to formal education, training, and skill-building in the 21st century.

“It is essential that we invest significantly to provide our youth with access to modern training, skill sets and formal education. To achieve this, our Department of Basic Education has introduced robotics and coding as school subjects in primary and high schools.

“At present, learners in over 1,000 schools are designing and producing robots both for gaming and to complete tasks the learners find tedious for human completion.

“Next year, learners in these and additional schools that will join this category will compete in a National Robotics Development Challenge,” the Minister said on Thursday during the G20 Digital Economy Ministers Meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Additionally, the minister added that a complete roadmap for the rollout of 4G and 5G networks will be initiated, even in remote locations, this year. To ensure that everyone has access to the internet by 2024, the ministry will continue to work to fulfill the goals of our South Africa Connect program.

What the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute will Offer

Through the Artificial Intelligence Institute, the government’s focus to develop digital skills by developing platforms to encourage and support young people and small and medium-sized businesses will be realized. In particular, the government intends to raise startups’ ability to produce digital content.

In this regard, South Africa will introduce an App Store on September 13, 2022, under the name DigiTech. Ntshavheni noted that the ministry has committed to working with our African neighbors to make sure that content creators from the rest of the continent can register their apps on the DigiTech App Store, the minister said.

Governments, according to Ntshavheni, have a duty to continue using technology as a major catalyst for change in the globe that should enhance inclusive growth, accessible public services, and sustainable development since technology is altering how people work and live.

The government is also extending email addresses to all learners/students in public schools and their parents as part of the requirements of basic e-learning.