South African AI Association Signs MOU with MICT SETA to Boost AI Skills Development

Industry body SAAIA collaborates with MICT SETA to promote responsible AI skills development in South Africa.

The South African Artificial Intelligence Association (SAAIA), an industry body focused on promoting the advancement of responsible AI in South Africa, signs MOU with MICT SETA to focus on skills development in artificial intelligence and smart technologies. 

SAAIA seeks to encourage stakeholders in the adoption of responsible AI for the commercial and societal benefit of the citizens of South Africa with a primary focus on economic growth, trade, investment, equality and inclusivity by uniting practitioners across Commercial, Government, Academic, Start-up and NGO sectors.

The Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) is a public entity established in terms of the Skills Development Act by the Government of South Africa. The MICT SETA plays a pivotal role in achieving South Africa’s skills development and economic growth within the sub-sectors it operates namely; Advertising, Film and Electronic Media, Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications.

From hype to a global reality the SAAIA vision has been shaped by analysing the global and local landscape, identifying needs and filling the blanks with research.  This has revealed both the challenges and opportunities AI and related smart technologies can bring to South Africa for both citizens and the wider economy.  Our research has shown that AI and related automation technologies are currently impacting 120+ traditional industries globally, while creating new job opportunities and challenges in timescale never seen before.  The speed of this disruption is faster than any other industrial revolution that has gone before it and skills development, education and training is a foundational aspect for people to embrace this new wave of innovation and progress their learning and career prospects which is why we teamed up with MICT SETA.

Dr. Nick Bradshaw, Founder, SAAIA

It is of vital importance that the opportunities Artificial Intelligence presents are possible and available for everyone to embrace not just the few. The SAAIA MICT SETA MOU aims to engage both individuals and organisations, novices and experts, those who are connected and not connected, so no one is left behind.  

The MICT SETA firmly believes in the transformative potential of AI and its ability to drive economic growth, improve efficiency, and enhance societal well-being. Our participation in SAAIIA aligns perfectly with our strategic imperative of fostering a digitally skilled workforce that is equipped to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Gugu Sema, Senior Manager: 4IR, MICT SETA

The founding partners and Advisory Board members of SAAIA are drawn from across multiple domains and passionate about the adoption of responsible AI, including; DCDT Government of South Africa, Google, Western Cape Government, Gauteng Tourism Authority, AI Institute of South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology, MICT SETA, Anza Capital, Michalsons, GIZ, ExploreAI, Cirrus AI, TinyML Foundation, Augmented Startups, Data Economy Policy Hub, Socially Acceptable, mLab, Zindi, Technology Innovation Agency, ecosystem.Ai, Tshwane University of Technology, Webber Wentzel and University of Johannesburg.

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