the dtic plans to support local mobile applications developers

mobile applications developers

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, says the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) plans to focus on local mobile applications development to identify support needed for smaller software developers, entrepreneurs, businesses and start-ups in the industry.

He was addressing delegates attending the virtual Colloqium on Opportunities in Mobile Applications Development Markert in South Africa.

Majola said the Fourth  Industrial Revolution (4IR),  when compared to previous industrial revolutions, is occurring at an exponential pace and countries are expected to adapt and catch up at a faster rate in addition to taking advantage of this phenomenom to promote economic growth.  

He added that major factors driving market growth included increasing smartphone and tablet usage, which has made internet access simpler, thereby creating lucrative opportunities for mobile game and application developers in the mobile gaming application market.

“Mobile applications are critical in digital transformation as they take businesses and organisations to the next level; increase the accessibility of products and services; provide convenience and flexibility; and unlock market reach.

Organisations across industries must meet user expectations for real-time and convenient ways to conduct transactions, access information and provide quick services to compete in this digital age,” he added.

Majola also said the South African software developers can certainly shape the exciting future and that government was aware of the need to create an enabling environment to take advantage of these developments.

“South Africa is investing in its digital infrastructure and has a large pool of talented, innovative software developers with first world expertise. The Re-imagined Industrial Strategy aims to open opportunities for young people to develop new software and applications, devices and equipment through specialised start-up support programmes for use by all spheres of government and society. Thus, government and industry need to work together in developing a robust digital economy,” he added.

One of the speakers at the meeting was Mr Mixo Ngobeni, a young person running an organisation called Geekculcha, which he established to empower young people in South Africa with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills. 

He said some of the key areas of skills shortage for business players in this field were business development, pricing knowledge of apps, capacity to do proper research and start-up resources, among others.

Ms Nicki Koorbanally from Mlab – another organisation running programmes to promote technological skills development among young people, said the country needsed to create more opportunities for the youth to experiment and learn ICT skills so they can play a critical role in this new exciting space of software development.

She added that there was also a greater need for access to mentors and business coaches an digital talent development programmes. She added that the industry needed to provide work packages to more young people in this field.

Some of the existing and future mobile trends that were highlighted at the colloqium are:

  • Artificial Intelligence blend with Machine Learning based applications in mobile app development services;
  • Mobile apps for wearable devices (popular in fitness and in smart clothing);
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality – not limited to gaming applications but also for example; retail apps providing a superior shopping experience to people with AR infused dressing and trail rooms.
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