Home National Deputy President Paul Mashatile Spearheads Key Working Visit to UAE to Boost Digital and Economic Ties

Deputy President Paul Mashatile Spearheads Key Working Visit to UAE to Boost Digital and Economic Ties

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Christmas Message for the year 2023 delivered by Deputy President Paul Mashatile

DEPUTY PRESIDENT PAUL MASHATILE

Deputy President Paul Mashatile embarked on a strategic working visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday, with expectations to conclude the mission by Friday, 25 April 2024. The aim of this pivotal visit is to cultivate and enhance the bilateral relations between South Africa and the UAE, with a sharp focus on enriching economic partnerships and knowledge exchange between the two nations.

The Presidency has outlined that this visit is primarily centered around bolstering discussions with prominent figures in the telecommunications and digital economy spheres. Such engagements are crucial for South Africa as it seeks to expand its technological and digital infrastructure, thereby achieving Meaningful Universal Connectivity—a cornerstone of the nation’s digital strategy.

In elucidating the essence of the visit, the Presidency stated, “Countries are moving towards digital sovereignty and South Africa, as one of the leading nations in the sector within the continent has the opportunity to spearhead initiatives in this regard towards strengthening public service delivery and enhancing participation in the digital economy. This working visit is as such, integral to building capacity towards digital sovereignty.”

The agenda for Deputy President Mashatile includes crucial interactions with the UAE’s Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Applications, among other pivotal regional and national entities. These talks are expected to pave the way for meaningful collaborations in the realms of artificial intelligence and digital technology, marking a significant step towards achieving South Africa’s ambitions in the global digital economy.

The UAE is recognized for its competitive edge in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The nation’s public sector investments have been instrumental in propelling demand for ICT products and services across various sectors, including healthcare, aviation, defence, and transportation. These sectors are integral to the UAE’s broader economic diversification ambitions, presenting ample opportunities for South African tech enterprises and start-ups.

Highlighting the significance of this visit, the Presidency observed, “The visit by the Deputy President provides an opportunity for the South African government to increase knowledge and expertise in the ICT sector towards the improvement and expansion of public services and governance systems through digital economy channels.”

Accompanying Deputy President Mashatile on this vital visit are several key figures from the South African government, including International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Mondli Gungubele, and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. Their joint presence underscores the multidisciplinary approach South Africa is taking towards enhancing its digital economy and ICT sector capabilities.

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