Programme launched to strengthen tech ecosystem in Western Cape

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The Western Cape Government’s Digital Economy Unit within the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has launched the region’s first programme dedicated to strengthening the local tech startup ecosystem. 

The launch of the programme further affirms the Western Cape as Africa’s tech hub

Titled the DashTech programme, it aims to support the region’s tech ecosystem by optimising growth for local tech startups and enabling job creation in the digital economy of the Western Cape. 

David Maynier, Western Cape Government’s Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities sheds light on the launch of the new programme and its overall aims. 

“To further strengthen our position as Africa’s tech capital, Digital Economy Unit in the Department of Economic Development, have launched the first DashTech programme to build on the local startup culture, to support the tech ecosystem and create an enabling environment for future growth and job creation in the digital economy in the Western Cape.”

The DashTech programme

The programme kicked off its first session of events in November, coinciding with ‘tech month’ in the region. The programme held events that facilitate a platform where startups could connect with potential investors, generate innovative ideas, collaborate with other businesses, enter new markets, improve local product development, and more. 

With an innovative approach, the DashTech programme aims to fill existing gaps within the funding scene along with available accelerators and incubators. 

The Dash-Tech programme held in November 2020 covered the following areas of the tech ecosystem:

  1. ScreenTech: This refers to technologies that operate using any form of a digital screen. ScreenTech is used to connect people to film, multimedia, gaming, animation, mobile, etc.
  2. SafetyTech: This relates to safety and security-related technologies that encourage safe and cohesive communities.
  3. Fintech: This refers to financial technology which includes mobile payments, and e-wallets, to improve and automate financial service delivery.
  4. TownshipTech: This is an adaptation of the ‘Smart Cities’ concept which builds innovative tech solutions geared towards local township communities specified to their conditions.
  5. 4IRTech: The Fourth Industrial Revolution that is tech-based includes Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things, and other emerging technologies.

Following the launch of the Western Cape’s tech ecosystem initiative, the Dash-Tech programme is an extension of the region’s intentions to establish itself as the continent’s tech hub. (see this story)

The programme’s overall objective is to create the best environment for companies to come together and drive business growth which will contribute to the economy in the Western Cape. 

According to a statement by the Western Cape Government, the region is home to ‘many tech and digital businesses’ that are primarily based in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Various companies include Silicon Cape Initiative, Loudhailer, IEASA Interactive Entertainment South Africa), CiTi (Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative) and KPMG will function as hosts for DashTech programme events. 

The programmes overall objective is to create the best environment for companies to come together and drive business growth which will contribute to the economy in the Western Cape. 

Read more: Western Cape launches tech ecosystem initiative
Read more: Google invests R2.2-billion into Western Cape

Featured image: Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis via Unsplash 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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