ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION (ITU) TELECOM WORLD 2018
Read the full text of the address by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telcom World 2018 on Monday 10 September at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, eThekweni.Programme Director, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane,Acting Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala,Executive Mayor of Ethekwini, Ms Zandile Gumede,Ministers and Deputy Ministers,Secretary General of the ITU, Mr Houlin Zhao,AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid,Members of the diplomatic corps,Distinguished delegates,Esteemed guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,It is a great privilege to address this opening session of the ITU Telecom World 2018.It is an honour as the government and the people of South Africa to host this event for the first time on the African continent.For us, the ITU Telecom World provides a guide to the future.The deliberations that take place here concern the economy and society of tomorrow that we are building today.We are at the dawn of a digital revolution that will reshape the way we work, they way we live and the way we relate to each other.Technological change is proceeding at a pace far greater than anything humanity has experienced before.It is through forums like this that we are able not only to anticipate technological change, but also to harness it for the advancement of humanity.It is through bodies like the International Telecommunication Union that we craft a digital agenda for inclusivity, sustainability and development.We have the means and the responsibility to direct the evolution of information and communications technology towards the achievement of a better life for all the peoples of the world.It is our task to ensure that the 4th Industrial Revolution improves the human condition and that no one is left behind.It is our task to ensure that this digital revolution responds to the needs of the developing world.It must assist in overcoming unemployment, not exacerbate it.It must bridge the digital divide, not widen it.It must employ the latest in communications technology and data analytics to solve some of the world’s greatest development challenges.The decisions we make now, as individual countries and as a global collective, will determine whether the 4th Industrial Revolution is the opportunity that so many people anticipateor the threat that so many people fear.As our economies become increasingly dependent on information and communication techology, it is critical that governments work more closely with industry to maximise the value of digital innovations.It is equally critical that both government and industry develop effective collaborative relationships with the communities they are both expected to serve.It is such relationships that are required, for example, for the accelerated rollout of broadband in areas that are generally seen asnot being economically viable.And yet, the presence of broadband in such areas is vital for the viability of the economy.The rapid expansion of broadband reach and accessibility is a priority in South Africa because it is a key determinant of economic inclusion.There are currently 20 million South Africans who do not use the internet, for a range of reasons such as unaffordable data prices, lack of internet-enabled devices and lack of access.Yet, about 87% of households in South Africa have access to mobile phones, presenting us with a great opportunity to overcome digital exclusion and to drive inclusive growth and innovation.Government has recently decided to accelerate the licensing of the radio frequency spectrum in the 2.6Ghz, 700Mhz and 800Mhz bands to hasten the growth of mobile communications.We have finalised consultations with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces costs to consumers.Following a Cabinet decision last month, our regulator ICASA is now preparing to licenceavailable high demand spectrum.In addition, we have begun work in preparation for 5G spectrum licensing as part of our efforts to build a smarter digital economy.Earlier this year, we announced plans toestablish a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission to ensure we are in a position to seize the opportunities of the rapid advances in information and communication technology.We are informed by research that associates investment in ICTs with such economic benefits as higher productivity, lower costs, new economic opportunities, job creation, innovation and increased trade.Information and communication technology also helps provide better services in health andeducation and strengthens social cohesion.Our work in this area coincides with agreement on the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area, which will create a single market of over a billion people.At the Plenipotentiary of the African Telecommunications Union held last month in Nairobi, South Africa was mandated to lead a five-country committee to coordinate the development of the continental response to the 4th Industrial Revolution.This is a task that we undertake in support of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which seeks a continent with diverse and inclusive economies,advanced infrastructure and a skilled and capable population.In promoting this vision, we see a key role for technology.It was precisely this – the developmental role of technology – that South Africa’s founding President Nelson Mandela affirmed when he addressed the 7th World Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition in Geneva in 1995.It was the first year that South Africa participated in the global event as a full member of the ITU.In his speech, President Mandela said it was crucial for South Africa and the entire African continent to be part of the organisation that would drive international policy, technological development, cooperation and skills transfer.Now, in the year of the centenary of his birth, let us be guided by his vision of a world in which everyone is connected, not only by technology, but also by a common humanity.Since rejoining the ITU, South Africa has worked with other member countries to advocate for the transformation of the institution and the entire global communications landscape to promote equality and inclusivity.In the World Summit on Information Society,held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, we advocated for a people-centred and development-oriented information society, where citizens’ lives are enhanced by ICTs and member states are recognised on an equal footing.We continue to champion the internet as a tool for social and economic development.We support universal broadband and universal broadcasting to connect all citizens and ensure that they have access to information.Most recently, we have advocated for the safety of ICT infrastructure and secure use by all online.Important to Africa and developing countries is the need for countries to share manufacturing and localisation opportunities to allow equal access and shared growth throughout the world.We support equitable access to global ICT resources such as orbital slots, satellites and governance of the internet.Distinguished Guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,We firmly believe that there is a strong correlation between innovation and growth.South Africa recently embarked on an investment drive to attract $100 billion in new investment in the country over the next five years.This is part of a broader effort to set the economy on a new path of growth, employment and transformation.We will be holding an Investment Conference on 25-27 October, where we will showcase the country’s lucrative investment offerings.We are determined that the ICT sector be an integral part of this investment drive, with a focus on infrastructure investment, e-commerce, local manufacturing of equipment, and innovation.South Africa has demonstrated its capabilities in the development and deployment of information and communications technology.We expect that the Investment Conference will help to demonstrate the country’s great potential.In conclusion, we are certain that Telecom World 2018 will produce innovative solutions tosocietal challenges and establish a platform for greater inclusive growth.I thank our industry partners and state owned companies that heeded the call to support government in hosting this event for the first time on African soil.Special thanks to the Secretary-General, the entire leadership and officials of the ITU for having shown confidence in our country to host this event.To our guests from across the continent and across the world, we are honoured and delighted to welcome you to our shores.It is my pleasure to officially declare the ITU Telecom World 2018 open.I thank you.
‘The destiny of Africa is in your hands’ – Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela addresses the Junior Chamber International
Read the full text of the address by the CEO of Brand South Africa, Mr Kingsley Makhubela, at the Africa and Middle East Conference of the Junior Chamber International on Thursday 5 May 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.• Download the speech in PDF formatProgramme DirectorPresident of the Junior Chamber International, Mr Paschal DikeAfrica and the Middle East Executive Vice President and Chairman of the 2016 JCI Africa and the Middle East Area Conference, Mr Tshepo ThlakuSecretary General, Mr Arrey ObensionJunior Chamber International Vice PresidentsAfrica and the Middle East Senate Chair, Ms Angel KgokoloAfrica & Middle East Development Council South (AMDEC) President, Mr Hymmeldat Rudolphe DibakalaAll delegatesMembers of the mediaIt is a pleasure to be amongst such vibrant and motivated young people today. I trust your deliberations since yesterday have been fruitful. As I stand before you, what stands out mostly for me is that despite the decades in between us, young people generations over have similar challenges to overcome. When I was a young man, my peers and I talked about and envisaged bequeathing to future generations a world that was better than the one in which we lived. We have achieved this to some extent but sadly, we have not managed to eradicate all the challenges we ourselves fought against.Today, young people continue to grapple with the pervasive, and sometimes stubborn, challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, job creation, and others. The resistance of these challenges to a durable and holistic solution, directly impacts on our own lives and indeed, on the competitiveness of the nations from which we hail. I say this before national competitiveness – and our nation brands – is ultimately a composite of all that a country has to offer. All citizens, sectors, industries together create a picture of the national competitive identity. This cannot be over-emphasized.The demographic dividendCurrent leaders have the responsibility to leverage the power of young people to become motive agents for change. Young people in both Africa and the Middle East contribute to the demographic dividend that could be a very positive force for growth and development. The World Economic Forum has described Africa’s demographic dividend as the largest in the world saying within 20 years, the number of sub-Saharan citizens reaching working age (15-64) will exceed that of the rest of the world combined. And by 2040, half of the world’s youth will be African.The Middle East has a similar demographic dividend. Michael Hoffman and Amaney Jamal in a paper entitled, “The Youth and the Arab Spring: Cohort Differences and Similarities” observe that “30% of the population is between the ages of 14 and 24.5 and more than half of the people in the Arab world today are under the age of 25.6. Not only is the youth bulge high in the Middle East, it is the second highest in the world – second only to sub-Saharan Africa.”You young leaders must therefore be nurtured and encouraged to use your unlimited drive, passion and potential for the greater good, and to build strong countries and continents.How can we do this?Charles Duhigg, in a book entitled The Power of Habit, talks about turning excellence into a habit. Personal excellence can translate into corporate, social and national excellence. And young people are in an excellent position to develop this habit – your families, communities and indeed, your countries, need this! Excellence must be cultivated and this will increasingly impact positively on national psyche and the reputation of our countries.This also leads me the emerging theory in leadership described as disruptive leadership. Disruptive leadership is about fostering a culture of game-changing innovation that provides the framework and motivation to generate those ideas and execute those solutions that enhance corporate, social and ultimately national competitiveness. It is built around the question, “Why hadn’t we ever thought about our business and culture this way before?”Building this culture of excellence whilst preparing leaders able to conceive of and implement innovative solutions, to national and sometimes international challenges, will require a fair amount of disruption to commonly accepted ways of doing things. There is no sector of society more well placed to do this, than you who are sitting in this room.As the future leaders of the continent in a range of areas, it is this spirit which will move Africa’s Agenda 2063 from the pages of the document on which it is written to a reality. It is this spirit which will drive the global agenda for socio-economic growth and development.That you are no longer defined by race, religion, gender or ethnicity makes it even easier for you to be disruptive leaders. The lack of boundaries enables agility which is important for disruption and innovation.Role of Youth in building nation brandsIn recent times, young citizens in both Africa and the Middle East have risen up against social issues to call on governments and society at large to create the conditions for inclusivity, growth, development and increasingly, sustainability and environmental awareness. Young people are courageously rising to take their places at the forefront of the struggle for equity, development and ultimately democracy and equal opportunities for all.#FeesMustFallIn a few weeks, South Africa will commemorate the 40th anniversary since the 16 June 1976 student uprisings in Soweto. I hope you will have time to visit this dynamic heartland of the South African struggle for democracy.It is a matter of history that these protests, during which many young people lost their lives, changed the course of the South African struggle for liberation. These protests brought international attention to what was happening in our country particularly the just struggle for equal opportunities and rights as well as access to amongst others, education. Many of those who were young activists during this time are now in positions of leadership in many sectors in South Africa.However, the cause for which they fought almost four decades ago, again rose to the forefront when millions of South African youth united across colour and class divides to call for free education in the #FeesMustFall movement. So powerful was this movement that the students were listed amongst the list of the 100 Most Influential Africans released late last year. These brave young people created the conditions for government to declare that there would be no fee increases in the 2016 academic year and commit billions of rands to alleviating the financial pressures on students and their families.In addition, these young people brought business and academia together and students at the University of Johannesburg were able to raise R31 million to support their fellow students while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), SABC and Vodacom last month launched a fundraising campaign at Fort Hare University’s Alice campus in the Eastern Cape to support students.South African youth demonstrated how they could come together and collectively fight for a cause that would change the conditions for millions of young people in our country. Education is a critical enabler for development and equally for national competitiveness. The youth of South Africa did more than just fight for no increases and additional funds, they are fighting for the country’s very development!In a few years, these young people will be in positions of leadership throughout the country. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to positively respond to the need for socio-economic change so that we will not find the same conditions come to the fore forty years from now?The Arab SpringGlobally we are seeing trends towards the need for greater democratisation and reduction of inequality levels. Young people are playing a critical role in raising levels of awareness about the unsustainability of current frameworks and paradigms.A few years ago, we will remember that young people of North Africa propelled the wave of civil society protests which ushered democracy to Northern Africa, in what is now described as the Arab Spring. Young people became political actors who were able to raise awareness for the need for change in North Africa. The youth led protests have been responsible for bringing political and social revolution to North Africa and these inspired their counterparts in the broader Middle East to also fight for democratic reforms in their own countries.This wave of protests have, unfortunately not created sustainable change or stable democracies. We are instead seeing greater instances of insecurity, terror and militarianism in both Africa and the Middle East. Sadly, no area of the world is immune from such attacks.Young people prove to be very susceptible to such militant activities. As the global community, we need to ask why? What are we doing, or not doing, that forces young people down such a path, risking their lives and their future?Young people can be a powerful force for positive change. It is up to us, as the older generations to ensure we do enough work to change conditions so that they can be encouraged to support positive programmes.Young people help President Obama reach the White HouseAn analysis by the Pew Research Centre shows that 66% of eligible voters under the age of 30 voted for President Obama in 2008. They were an important stakeholder in propelling America’s first black President to the White House because President Obama and his team prioritised communicating to the youth of America in a way that was important to them and on issues that they cared about. There is a lesson to be drawn from his campaign for the 2008 Presidency – understand the power of young people, talk to and engage with them in a way that is meaningful to them and you will gain their support.This is the best way to ensure that the power wielded by young people is harnessed and mobilised for nation building.These examples illustrate the impatience of young people and why leaders must acknowledge the urgency to transform their countries to ensure that there is greater equity, growth and development. Leadership does not refer only to heads of state and government, it is leadership at every level. If leaders do not rise to the occasion and respond to the needs of citizens, then young people have shown their ability to assume this role, and when they do, governments and business will be faced with their anger and impatience.Rights and ResponsibilitiesBefore I conclude, I would like to raise the issue of rights and responsibilities.Many generations of the past could only dream of some of the rights young people have today. You are no longer constrained by the burden of gender, race, class, ethnic or even geographical boundaries. With hard work, the right environment and the right opportunities, each of you really can change the world. However, I would caution that in attempting to build the world you want, do not destroy the world you do not want. Understanding that with every right comes a responsibility is a big part of being an adult.In conclusion, I would like to draw on Africa’s Agenda 2063 – continent’s first long term plan for the growth and development of the continent – which says, “present generations are confident that the destiny of Africa is in their hands, and that we must act now to shape the future we want.Are you ready? How will you play your part to build your country and ultimately your continents? How will history remember this generation of young people?I wish you good deliberations in the next few days. I hope you will have some time to experience and enjoy some of what our country has to offer.I thank you.
Nearly 40 crosses and plaques at the Guardian Angel Catholic cemetery in Curchorem village in South Goa were desecrated early morning on Monday, police said.This is the fourth such incident in the last one month involving desecration of Christian crosses and Hindu idols.A senior police official said that a CCTV camera installed at the cemetery was damaged before the vandals went around desecrating crosses and plaques fixed atop graves. Deputy Inspector General of Police Rupinder Kumar told The Hindu on Monday that he was onsite to take stock of the situation.”We are at the site right now, I am talking to people” Mr. Kumar said. He said no arrests have been made so far.”Police personnel were posted outside the cemetery. When they heard sounds from inside, they went to check and found several Catholic crosses, granite stone plaques and grave stones damaged.” he said.Initially, officials at the Curchorem police station had estimated the number of damaged crosses, gravestones and plaques at nearly 100. “We are working on some leads”, he said.The Goa Police has already formed a special team to investigate such events, which Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said is being carried out by vested interests to disturb communal harmony in the State. Mr. Parrikar is presently away in U.S. on a week-long private visit. Goa Pradesh Congress president Shantaram Naik has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the series of such incidents in the State. “Goa Director-General of Police Muktesh Chander briefed me about the incident. I have demanded a CBI probe to look into the such continuing events,” Mr. Naik told The Hindu on Monday afternoon. He said that the Parrikar-led government in the State had failed to reign in such incidents.”This looks like a sinister attempt by some elements to disturb communal harmony in Goa,” Mr. Naik said, but declined to name the forces.He blamed Mr. Parrikar for not giving charge to any of his Cabinet colleagues while he was leaving for US, despite knowing the present situation.
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