Digital is the future - Hanse-Himarwa

25 June 2019 | Education

SADC must urgently digitise its data and connectivity, especially research on collaborate academic learning, in order to change and transform the African child.

This is according to education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was delivering her closing remarks at a joint meeting of SADC ministers of education and training and science, technology and innovation this past Friday.

Hanse-Himarwa urged member states to increase investments in science, technology and innovation by meeting the target of the 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) expenditure for research and development.

She added the rolling out of the alignment of the national qualification framework to the SADC qualification framework by March 2020 is key.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is envisaged to bring about fundamental changes to the economics of virtually every industry in the SADC region and the world at large, and education and training are no exceptions. I thus call on all member states to prioritise digitalisation and technology and innovation in order to achieve meaningful development in the SADC region,” she said.

According to Hanse-Himarwa the commitments agreed upon during the meeting will facilitate the achievement of the goals that countries have set for themselves.

“I am most delighted that we reaffirmed our engagements towards strengthening the education and training, science and technology agenda, which are all important facets for the creation of an enabling environment to accelerate regional integration that, in turn, will stimulate socio-economic development in our region,” said Hanse-Himarwa.

She added that senior officials reviewed the documents ahead of regional ministers' meeting and came up with 29 policy decisions for consideration and endorsement.

Hanse-Himarwa pointed out these policy decisions included the establishment and strengthening of centres of excellence and specialisation, under which member states are directed to conduct mapping exercises to identify existing potential.

It also includes the establishment of the University of Transformation, as well as the strengthening of science academies in the region.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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