The Department of Science and Technology and Microsoft South Africa recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will see the two fast-tracking high-performance computing, human capital and enterprise development.
The department’s Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara, signed on the part of the department while Managing Director Mteto Nyati signed on behalf of Microsoft South Africa.
As stated by the two, the signing of the memorandum is anticipated to create foreign direct investment in research and development as well as take advantage of established Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills programmes to compliment knowledge-generating capacity.
The main objective of the collaboration is on growing involvement by students and learners coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
Following the signing of the memorandum, Mjwara said: “We in addition plan to mutually create world-class research infrastructure along with pertinent science councils and higher education institutions.”
“We now possess a dedicated framework to assist us to evaluate which space in the ICT value chain would be best served by public-private partnerships,” he explained.
The DST and multinational private sector partners have a relatively solid framework against which to quality-check projects in which they are involved together.
“For the reason that our local programmes are built to assist government address its five key priorities specifically skills, jobs and rural access partnering with the DST is going to more effectively coordinate our initiatives to develop an enabling environment for growth through ICT,” Nyati said.
“This kind of intervention definitely will expose students and learners to innovation and business skills in early stages of their studies. The students will be additionally provided with opportunities to make use of their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to assist solve real-world global challenges and see that they can make a difference in the world.”
Nyati revealed that the purpose of the programme is to provide students with the crucial work skills they are going to need to succeed in the future.
“To date, 350 employer partners and 15 training providers, academic institutions and NGOs have joined the programme. The DST’s backing should motivate more corporates to share in the responsibility of cutting down unemployment among the youth by way of supporting technology and business-related graduates,” he said.