African countries are increasingly seeking to use Indian-developed technologies rather than those developed by the West, with the latter deemed less appropriate for the continent, according to delegates at a conclave that just ended here.
“Technologies, including new technologies in the service sector, are meant to drive economic growth and development in the Southern African development region. India can provide opportunities not only in transforming technologies but also in sharing technical knowledge,” said Ashok Babu, Consul General of India in Cape Town.
Babu, who moderated the panel discussion on this theme at the CII-Exim Bank Regional Conclave on India-Southern Africa Growth Partnership held here earlier this week, said the sharing technical expertise was an important part of India’s development cooperation to empower people in Africa. countries through a number of capacity building programs such as ITEC Fellowships, ICCR Fellowships and other training programs under the India-Africa Forum Summits.
Abhishek Jain, deputy director of KPMG, said that about 20 years ago, India was in a similar situation to where Africa is now when it comes to the development of technological capabilities, but the India has become a world leader in this field now after investing in technology and education.
“Southern Africa could very well become the powerhouse in the next few years,” Jain said.
He cited areas where India’s experience in this regard could prove valuable, including vaccine production, education, e-medicine and renewable energy, which he said could be a game-changer for the continent as it is blessed with so many renewable energy resources such as solar energy. .
He said one area that too many people know little about is the Square Kilometer Array Telescope involving a number of countries including South Africa.
“This (includes) a collaboration between Indian and South African scientists who are developing the largest telescope in the world, which provides an opportunity for space exploration for India and South Africa,” he said. .
Jain said India’s space development program has translated into local benefits for its people, which could also be done for southern Africa.
Jignesh Dipakkumar Dave, Managing Director of Next360 Group, said the use of digital technology tools helps build capacity.
“If you have the technology and the capacity, you can have access to capital. We see this as something that is gaining momentum as the world recovers from the Covid pandemic,” Dave said.
K Balachandran, co-founder and CFO of Iris Business Services Limited, said a structured digital ecosystem enables development by bringing technology closer to a country’s people.
“India’s digital systems have made substantial progress in the last decade or so and they are now in a position where they can propel the country tremendously to help other countries as well,” Balachandran said, adding that he hoped that sharing the Indian experience through collaboration would also benefit southern African countries.
Dennis Laxton, senior faculty member at Regenesys Business School South Africa, agrees.
“If we don’t collaborate, we’re not going to share our knowledge. It’s about what each party can bring to the table.
“India has put a lot of money into technology and we in South Africa need to grow. If we don’t embrace technology through this learning, how are we going to move forward? Laxton asked.
“If we can share and if we can collaborate, we can empower people, through technology transfer,” Laxton said.
Nokuthula Ndlovu, director of Projectised Management at South Africa’s Black Business Council, said Indian companies should be aware that some local talent might feel threatened by Indian companies, although she suggested a solution to this.
“There is a way around the intentional skills transfer that is product-focused where we can work with local IT companies and form great partnerships,” Ndlovu said.
“We need to create products and services within technology that will focus on the end user and the customer, and the reputation of these entities in a non-threatening way from the employment and skills needed” , Ndlovu offered.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)