The first day of the Digital Technologies Summit proved to already be a great success. Chairperson, Jane Molony, and the Department of Arts and Culture first welcomed all the guests to the summit whereafter everyone eagerly attended the rest of the talks that the day had to offer.
Elitha van der Sandt, Chief Executive Officer at SABDC, presented a very interesting and critical discussion on the role of publishing and book development in South Africa in general. Digital publisher and Digital Sector Council member, Malcolm Seegers, on the other hand, focussed more narrowly on the topic of digital publishing in South Africa.
The issue on how to get the youth of South Africa reading was also raised. Mignon Hardie, FunDza Trust’s manager, introduced FunDza’s approach of allowing youth to access literature via their mobile phones.
Session 2 of the summit focused on publishing. Naturally, the difference between digital publishing and electronic publishing was discussed, as well as other relevant topics such as the challenges that digital publishing faces with regards to copyright.
After an outstanding first day, everyone was very excited to get started on Day 2’s round of sessions. Luke Mckend, Country Director of Google South Africa, presented the first discussion for the day and talked about utilising digital content for corporate learning.
With regards to education, the Department of Education touched on the National Digital e-Book and e-Content Strategy with regards to education. Wesley Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Snapplify, looked at the idea of e-Books in the African classroom, the potential challenges it presents and how we could overcome them.
The sixth session of the summit focused on Access and Use. The Department of Trade and Industry opened this session with a talk on how the book retail industry could be stimulated. The challenges that digital publishing pose to South African book retailers was also touched upon by John Jacobs, the Digital Sector Chairperson.
The last session was once again presented by Elitha van der Sandt and Jane Molony as they discussed the e-Book Action Plan and Programme Strategy. This included listing the expected outcomes of the summit, specifying priorities for industries and the government, as well as identifying priorities and pilot projects for the future.
To download the full Digital Technologies Summit Programme, click here.