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Event Info

This interactive two-part program includes a public event on ICT workforce development, tech upskilling and invitation-only breakout sessions on cybersecurity, emerging technologies and the future of work, and enabling digital trade. The event will highlight digital economy drivers across Africa and identify policy best practices in the ICT sector to enable digital transformation in South Africa.


Convening private sector, U.S. and South African government officials, and thought leaders, the event will accelerate the development of a robust digital economy in South Africa and promote business environments that foster innovation and the seamless flow of data.


Future Africa, University of Pretoria
South St, Koedoespoort 456-Jr
Pretoria 0186
South Africa


Friday, November 8, 2019
8:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Eastern Time


8:00 AM

Arrivals, Registration and Breakfast

8:45 AM

Opening of event and performance by traditional youth dancers

9:00 AM

Commencement of the first DigiGirlz coding workshop

9:00 AM


Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice Chancellor of University of Pretoria, Future Africa Campus

Opening Remarks by Scott Eisner, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. – Africa Business Summit 

9:15 AM


Hon. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister, The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

9:45 AM

Fireside Chat – “Skills Development to Unlock South Africa’s ICT Potential” 

In Africa, as in elsewhere around the world, the benefits of technology will not be realized across society if the right policy environment is not in place. Streamlined policy frameworks and regulatory best practices can drive the development and adoption of cutting-edge tools, such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. There is also recognition that the economic benefits of such technologies may not necessarily be distributed evenly across societies, and that certain technologies may affect the labour market in unintended ways. 

This interactive panel explores how governments and the business community must partner together so that the dividends of digital transformation benefit all of society.




Panelists may include:

 – Department of Higher Education (Invited)

 – Department of Science and Technology (Invited)

 – IBM

 – Google

 – Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

10:50 AM

Closing Remarks and Conclusion of Public Program

11:00 AM

Coffee Break and Exposition Space Open

11:00 AM

Commencement of the second DigiGirlz coding workshop and Private Breakaway Sessions

11:30 AM

Concurrent Roundtable Sessions – Enabling the Growth of Digital Economy  – By Invitation Only

Moderated by: ResearchICTAfrica


Three themes for breakaway roundtable sessions to offer input into the Digital Drivers Report and Post-Event Recommendations

Themes include: 

 – Enabling Trade to Drive Investment in Infrastructure and Cross-Border Data Flows (Breakout 1)

 – The Future of Work: Responsible Principles to Enable an AI Ecosystem (Breakout 2)

 – Enabling Effective Cybersecurity Policy (Breakout 3)

1:00 PM

Summary and Closing of All Three Sessions

1:30 PM

Closing Remarks and Working Lunch

Keynote speaker

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies in the Republic of South Africa.


The Minister is well versed on digital transformation issues, understanding that to drive the country’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) response; partnerships, skills development and capacity building for the youth, entrepreneurs, government employees and citizens must be at the helm of all interventions. Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams is a digital transformation champion, having served eight years in the ICT industry as a member of the executive. Her academic qualifications include, amongst others, a CTO Diploma in Telecommunications and Management Systems and Project Management Diploma.

Event photo gallery