Minister Siyabonga Cwele leads South African delegation to 2nd Brics ICT Ministers Meeting, 10 to 11 Nov

Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, leads the South African delegation at the second Brics ICT Ministers Meeting in Bengaluru, India

The Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services is leading the South African to the Second BRICS ICT Ministers Meeting that is taking place in Bengaluru on 10 to 11 November 2016.

The meeting takes forward the commitments made by the leaders of BRICS countries on matters relating to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Minister Cwele is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from India, Brazil, Russia, China and the Deputy Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union.

The Ministers have committed to cooperating on areas that include research and innovation, technology transfer, innovation, electronic manufacturing and skills training. The South African delegation includes leaders of ICT State-Owned Enterprises, private sector and industry associations.

"We have before us the opportunity to strengthen the functioning of our BRICS Union and build a more integrated, innovative, and vibrant ICT network that is truly able to meet the needs our people. South Africa is open to do business with BRICS countries and I hope that in the next two days, we will forge new partnerships, especially collaboration amongst our Small Medium Micro Enterprises," said Minister Cwele.

He said South Africa was amongst the top 20 countries globally on investment in infrastructure. The Ministers said BRICS countries accounted for about 43% of the world's population and about 40% of global mobile connections. But, these countries don't feature in the top 30 countries in terms of innovation.

"We see the ICTs as cornerstone of socio-economic development. Our Government's blueprint document: the National Development Plan (NDP), recognises the ICTs as key catalyst for inclusive growth and for reducing spatial exclusion, enabling seamless participation by the majority in the global ICT system, and creating platforms for emerging players as black industrialist, content developers and application innovators," said Minister Cwele.

Source: Government of South Africa

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