Deputy Minister advocates for women in ICT

Monday, August 26, 2019

Communications and Digital Technologies Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana has committed to advancing the participation of African women in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

“As the Secretary-General of the Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO), I am personally committing to use this platform to enhance the participation of African women in ICT Policy in all aspects, but in particular, in the work of spectrum,” the Deputy Minister said.

She was on Monday addressing delegates at the Africa Preparatory Meeting for the World Radio Communication Conference 2019 in East London, Eastern Cape.   

“We can no longer be observers and merely talk about the emancipation of women. We can no longer talk about gender parity, but not activate it to women empowerment,” said Kekana.

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies is hosting delegates from the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) for the Fourth Regional Preparatory Meeting in preparation for the World Radio Communication Conference (WRC) that will be held in November 2019 in Egypt.

Kekana called on delegates to consider support for frequency allocations that ensure technologies complement each other and warrant that rural and remote broadband issues are addressed.

“The recent Cyclone Idai, which destroyed parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, has made us realise that spectrum allocation and regulatory regimes require a different strategic approach. We must learn and get better as we tackle the technology challenges for Africa, for South Africa.

“Africa is not the Africa we know without natural disasters. No continent is. Thus, your focus should also support programmes which enhance Satellite Earth Observation,” she said.

Kekana said technology will ensure future support for disaster preparedness, emergency response, rescue, and relief efforts; ensure monitoring of flooding as it happens, and assess damage during the post-disaster phase as affected communities’ recover from a disaster.

“We have to actively and consciously protect and preserve our environment for future generations,” she said.

More than 300 delegates from several countries on the continent and abroad are expected to attend the World Radio Communication Conference.  

This meeting will contribute towards strengthening the multicultural system through fostering increased international cooperation, while also ensuring that Africa has an equal voice.

Furthermore, hosting this meeting will provide South Africa with an opportunity to demonstrate its continuous commitments and obligations towards achieving the objectives of the International Telecommunications Union. –