Empowering the Youth
Two things that can greatly alleviate poverty and other socio-economic disparities on the African continent are youth employment and entrepreneurship1. The fourth industrial revolution is presenting opportunities for youth innovation and entrepreneurship. It is imperative that Africa’s youth be empowered to enable them to overcome technology skill shortages and competencies1.
South Africa is facing one of its biggest challenges yet, a youth unemployment rate of 63%2. This is alarming as the youth is our greatest resource as a country and yet they are the most vulnerable. At Tshaya Mashabela Attorneys, we want to play our part in empowering the youth and enabling them to be innovative. We’ve compiled a list of programmers aimed at empowering the youth:
Tshepo 1 million:
Tshepo is a Gauteng Provincial Government youth empowerment initiative designed to help young people (regardless of the level of education) to access opportunities such as skills training, learners hips and entrepreneurial development opportunities. Get more information at tshepo.mobi/Home
The Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub (TIH) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and was established to promote economic development and competitiveness within Gauteng by nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship. The TIH offers innovators support from the ideation stage to product development. They have incubators in several sectors such as agroprocessing, ICT and the green economy to name a few. Get more information from www.theincubationhub.com
Technology Innovation Agency
The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is a national public entity that plays a key role in bridging the innovation gap between R&D from Universities, science councils and private sector, and the commercialisation of this R&D. TIA focuses on technology development and assists innovators and SMEs from proof of concept to pre-commercialisation. To this end, TIA established the Seed Fund, Technology Development Fund and the Commercialisation Support Fund. For more information visit the TIA page at www.tia.org.za
East London Industrial Development Zone
The South African government established several industrial development zones IDZ) in order to reposition itself in the world economy by attracting foreign direct investment and export of value-added commodities. One such IDZ is the East London IDZ and in order to enhance the competitive and comparative advantages of this IDZ as an investment destination, they have established the Science and Technology Park. They offer innovators and entrepreneurs facilities for laboratory testing, a design center, training platforms and incubator services. For more information visit elidzstp.co.za
There are also multiple incubators around the country that help to speed up growth and success of start-ups. Examples are the Riversands Incubation Hub, Standard Bank Incubator and Shanduka Black Umbrella.
We are aware that data costs can be astronomical and yet access to the internet is one of the fundamental requirements for youth development. There are places where you can get access to free WiFi to work on your ideas and innovations.
Tshwane has several zones of free WiFi for its residents offering 500mb/day. In addition to that, through the TshWi-Fi app, the City of Tshwane provides Tshwane youth with free access to the IBM Digital-Nation Africa (D-NA) programme, allowing local entrepreneurs and communities access to knowledge, skills and tools to innovate, design, develop and launch their own digital solutions3. Please visit www.tshwifi.com to find your closest internet zone.
The City of Johannesburg has also established 1000 WiFi hotspots across the city offering 300mb/day. This is not much but it will definitely go a long way in assisting youth to access the information they require to innovate. You can also visit a McDonald’s or StarBucks if you can and make use of their free WiFi facilities, be prepared to at least buy a cup of coffee first though!
Written by: Tumelo Mashabela, Managing Director and Registered Patent Attorney
For all your IP, commercial and corporate law services, please contact us on 012 942 8710 / firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on social media platforms with the handle @TshayaMashabelaAttorneys (@TshayaMashabela on Twitter).