Coinciding with celebrations of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) Khumbudzo Ntshavheni launched state owned app store DigiTech.  It is a platform for digital products/applications produced by South African small-medium and micro businesses.

DigiTech is developed, managed, and controlled by the South African government.

“This portal will be used to promote local applications for use by the government and equally market them to the public. This not only raises awareness of the concept of local digital products, but supports smart government and encourages people to adopt smart services.” remarked DCDT deputy minister Philly Mapulane.

The platform currently features locally developed apps such as Senso, a sound assistance app for deaf people, Boxfusion, an automated administrative tool, and Cattle Watch, a cattle track and monitoring application that visualizes geo-location of livestock to farmers, with 24 other applications in categories such as communication, health, logistics, and payments.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, a United Nations- recognized day, has been observed annually on May 17th since 1969, commemorating the foundation of the International Telecommunications Union and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was established as Resolution 46 by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973. The theme for this year is "Digital technologies for older individuals and healthy ageing," which emphasizes the critical role of telecommunications/ICTs in assisting people in remaining physically, emotionally, and financially fit, connected, and independent.

Minister Ntshavheni pleaded with ICT sector players to support local products on the platform, saying, "This platform will not operate or achieve its aim unless all of us support it." "In the next ten years, Africa will be the greatest market." "What is not created in Africa cannot be consumed by the African market."

Around September 2022, the department intends to announce the platform's expansion into Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar, and other SADC member nations, as well as throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

— By Bataung Qhotsokoane

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