In September this year, South Africa for the first time hosted the 2018 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World, under the theme “Innovation for a Smarter Digital Development”, giving rise to young leaders with fresh thought patterns in the ICT space.
Following the ITU Conference, Brand South Africa hosted a panel discussion on The Role of ICT in the Advancement of South Africa and the Economy, to dissect the outcomes and discuss the way forward. Winner of the Global SME Excellence Award, Tshepo Thlaku, joined the panel in discussions.
Thlaku is an entrepreneur who founded Pulego Communications, a 100% black-owned B-BBEE Level 1 enterprise that provides innovative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions, project consulting and outsourcing of software resources. Pulego Communications is also the brainchild behind a citizens’ engagement mobile platform for smart cities, the very innovation that bagged them the Global SME Excellence Award.
At the debrief, Thlaku spoke on the importance of the government providing means for citizens to learn digital skills in order to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). He added that the government needs to give young people an opportunity to showcase their technological ideas, making mention of how wealthy South Africa is in young, innovative young people.
According to Thlaku, public sector needs to collaborate with schools and universities in order to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary skills for the 4IR, so that banks can assist them with their businesses.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Thlaku has also held numerous positions at Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide network of young active citizens between ages 18-40 in over 120 countries, providing development opportunities that empower the youth. Through the JCI, Thlaku has travelled to over 25 countries, sharing sustainable solutions with young people who come face to face with challenges in their respective communities, sparking radical and positive change.