South Africa in the Digital Age (SADA) was an urgent, multi-sectoral, economic strategy development process to charter South African pathways for inclusive growth in the digital age. The process was a joint venture between the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), Genesis Analytics and the Pathways for Prosperity Commission.
What are the income-generating opportunities for South Africans in the digital revolution? The South Africa in the Digital Age (SADA) initiative is dedicated to answering this question. The Strategy Primer summarises our findings on where those opportunities are, as well as how to realise them. We map out the pathways for the country to create income-generating work in the digital age, detailing the practical actions required. Download the full report or the executive summary
The digital readiness assessment measures South Africa’s readiness to seize new opportunities when they arise as an input to the country’s economic strategy. SADA’s first task was to identify the right combination of conditions that enable these opportunities, whatever they may be, to scale significantly and include as many South Africans as possible.
SADA is a joint venture between GIBS, Genesis Analytics, and the Pathways for Prosperity Commission. The initiative is guided by an advisory board comprising key thought leaders or decision-makers in the country with insights on South Africa’s challenges and opportunities in the digital age.
The advisory board members have been convened on the basis of their expertise and insight for crystallising the country’s potential in the digital age. This group is diverse and inclusive, drawn from different sectors including the government, the private sector, civil society and social partners. The board is chaired by Mteto Nyati, CEO of Altron and chair of the PPGI’s ICT committee. Other members of the board include Mpumi Mpofu (former Director General of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and now CEO of the Airports Company), Audrey Mothupi (CEO of Systemic Logic Group), Maria Ramos (former CEO of Absa and Pathways for Prosperity Commissioner) Irene Charnley (CEO Smile Telecoms), and Stefan Dercon and Benno Ndulu (academic co-directors of the Pathways Commission).
The Pathways for Prosperity Commission – co-chaired by philanthropist Melinda Gates, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Econet CEO Strive Masiyiwa - has sought to shift the digital technology discourse away from fear of job destruction, which has paralysed many decision-makers, and towards a more practical discussion on how developing countries should prepare to forge new tech-enabled pathways to inclusive growth.
The commission is hosted and managed by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, and guided by a diverse group of commissioners who are global leaders from government, the private sector and academia.
South Africa, Ethiopia and Mongolia were the three pilots for the commission. The commission released its findings at the end of 2019:
The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), part of the University of Pretoria, is an experienced, independent convener of multi-stakeholder dialogues. It has strong connections to the government and the private sector in South Africa. Professor Nick Binedell, founding director of GIBS, and strategy experts from the Institute’s Centre for Leadership and Dialogue are contributing to the initiative’s dialogue workshops.
Genesis Analytics has an established reputation for market analysis and policy advisory in South Africa. Genesis will contribute to the design and execution of the initiative and support the process with high-quality original analysis and inputs to the design of a South Africa strategy.
SADA convened a series of dialogues between a spectrum of stakeholders to ensure that the initiative’s outputs have credence and validity. This process of co-creation was facilitated by the participation of technical experts and specialists drawn from the government, the private sector and civil society, and who possess expertise in specific issues relating to South Africa’s strategy for inclusive growth in the digital age.
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