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Through The NEMISA CoLab, CUT And FSPG Provide Digital Skills to The Community



Through The NEMISA CoLab, CUT And FSPG Provide Digital Skills to The Community

Through The NEMISA CoLab, CUT And FSPG Provide Digital Skills to The Community. The Central University of Technology (CUT), in collaboration with the Free State Provincial Government (FSPG) and the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA), launched the Free State NEMISA CoLab on Thursday, 24 November 2022. This initiative is part of the existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NEMISA and the agreement to jointly run the CoLab with FSPG.

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Empowering Communities Through ICT

The CoLab’s primary focus is on utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to positively impact the development of information-poor peri-urban, rural, and remote areas. It aims to expand the reach of ICT, connecting these areas with the information society and knowledge economy.

Aligning with 4IR Technologies

Prof. Alfred Ngowi, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of CUT, emphasized the alignment of tertiary education with Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the integration of technology into teaching and learning, highlighting the importance of Artificial Intelligence and SMART campuses.

Prof. Ngowi expressed the university’s commitment to collaborating with global partners to provide digital skills development to graduates, enabling them to contribute technological innovations and solutions to local communities.

Impactful Training Programs

More than 13,000 learners have already been trained through the CoLab, gaining exposure to various 4IR-related technologies and investment opportunities. These programs are essential for preparing a skilled workforce, which is crucial for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the province.

A Focus on Youth Empowerment

Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, emphasized the program’s importance in the province’s growth and development plan. She highlighted the need for digital skills training to improve the quality of life for all South Africans, especially the youth. Premier Ntombela welcomed the empowerment program, aiming to capacitate youth and upskill the current workforce in sectors like agriculture and mining to accelerate economic growth and job creation.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Trevor Rammitlwa, Nemisa Chief Operating Officer, stressed the importance of bridging the digital divide in South Africa. He highlighted the significance of digital literacy programs, especially for those who have been left behind in an unequal society. These programs aim to empower individuals with essential digital skills, such as using email and mobile apps for document scanning.

Enriching 4IR Efforts

The activities of the CoLab align with the current efforts of leveraging 4IR technologies for the growth and development of the Free State Province. By directly addressing the skills development deficit, as outlined in the 4IR Summit Resolutions, the CoLab contributes to advancing the province’s economic and technological landscape.

The Free State NEMISA CoLab Launch, held at the CUT Bloemfontein Campus, was attended by CUT Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Alfred Ngowi; Free State Premier, Honourable Sisi Ntombela; NEMISA Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Trevor Rammitlwa; and Free State Finance MEC, Ms. Gadija Brown, among others.

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