Media Statement

07 October 2021

South Africa and the Netherlands pleased with the success of the virtual Global Cyber Policy Dialogue

South Africa and the Netherlands, in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation America and Research ICT Africa, co-hosted a successful virtual Global Cyber Policy Dialogue for Southern Africa on Wednesday, 06 October 2021. The aim of this meeting was to follow up on the inaugural session held in October 2020 and to also prepare and encourage participation at the much anticipated in-person session, to hopefully be held in 2022.

The virtual conference looked at refining participants’ understanding of the imperative of inclusive digital transformation and the concomitant security implications and risks of this transformation in Africa. The meeting also heard how fast and unchecked digitalisation could exacerbate existing inequalities or create new ones, and that development approaches may need to be re-evaluated or new strategies may be needed to ensure that the benefits of digitalisation are equitable to all.

Speakers and participants from across the globe highlighted the importance of government, private sector, civil society partnerships to unlock the development potential of cyber space and increase cyber resilience not only in Southern Africa but also globally.

On that occasion, Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, Deputy Director General: Global Governance and Continental Agenda, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said: “The need for socio-economic transformation of our societies has become ever more urgent and cyberspace is one of the many avenues where opportunities exist for that purpose. New technologies such Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and blockchain have come to the fore and we have to give our future generations a head start to harness the benefits of these technologies”.

South Africa and the Netherlands are already collaborating in digital projects. The Dutch Bureau for Statistics and the cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town worked together on big data management for the development of resilient and sustainable cities.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, ‪082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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