The South African technology ecosystem is thriving according to coding institute HyperionDev. The tech start-up cites the latest African Tech Ecosystems of the Future 2021/22 report by fDi Intelligence (foreign direct investment intelligence, an England-based business that reports on global investment activities).
The report ranked South Africa highly when it comes to recognising tech innovation and having an established digital start-up ecosystem.
Head of partnerships at HyperionDev, Caissa Veeran, said that South Africa had one of the largest ICT markets in Africa and showed extraordinary technological leadership in mobile and security software fields, as well as in the online banking services environment.
“Several international corporates operate subsidiaries in South Africa boasting the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and Intel. This is because the country is the regional hub and supply base for neighbouring countries,” said Veeran.
According to Veeran, although the technology sector is developing and has become a more important contributor to South Africa’s GDP, now is the time for locals to take advantage of it when it comes to job opportunities.
“Tech companies rely strongly on skilled resources in order to grow their businesses to adapt to new technologies that are emerging. However, the supply is not meeting demand as the current skills being developed are not suitable,” said Veeran.
Veeran said this could be remedied through skills development programmes that cater for current and emerging technologies while being accessible and affordable.
“The supply needs to meet demand as change is happening fast,” she said.
Despite the data showing that the technology ecosystem is booming in the country, Veeran said there were issues that South Africa still faced, such as the lack of access to technology in some areas and the high cost of data.
‘’To mitigate this, there’s a lot of work to do at the grassroots level to provide South African youth with access to quality education that is accessible and affordable.
“This is something that needs to be addressed by organisations, schools and universities who need to increasingly work together to improve access and the quality of education, update the current curriculum and highlight the dynamics and the ranges of careers in the technology world.”
Veeran believes that companies also have a role to play when it comes to addressing job creation and specialised skills development.
“All the efforts that go into basic skills development are wasted if there are no entry-level jobs available for graduates to earn experience in these fields. Employers also need to focus on continuous data rescaling and upskilling for existing employees to keep up with cyber-security, AI programming and data science, for example.”
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