JOHANNESBURG: Discussions on several technological developments are underway at the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2018, which opened in South Africa Monday. “We are at the dawn of a digital revolution that will reshape the way we work, the way we live and the way we relate to each other,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the opening of the conference in the coastal city of Durban.
This is the first time the conference is being held on the African continent, where latest developments in technology, including preparations for 5g networks, are being discussed.
“Technological change is proceeding at a pace far greater than anything humanity has experienced before,” Ramaphosa said.
The South African leader said technology should assist in overcoming unemployment, but not exacerbate it.
“It is our task to ensure that the 4th Industrial Revolution improves the human condition and that no one is left behind,” he noted.
Ramaphosa said it is their task as leaders to ensure that the digital revolution responds to the needs of the developing world.
He said the rapid expansion of broadband reach and accessibility is a priority for 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,” he added.
Ramaphosa said his government has decided to accelerate the licensing of radio frequency spectrum to hasten the growth of mobile communications as a result.
The conference has attracted about 7,000 delegates, including senior government officials, leaders of multilateral organizations, regulators, and entrepreneurs. The International Telecommunications Union is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for information and communication technologies. (AA)