Screens of all shapes and sizes have become the preferred way for people all over the world to acquire news, information, and knowledge; to entertain themselves; be productive; and connect. From laptops, smart TVs, and navigation devices, to smartphones digital video games and smartwatches, the use of screens is on the rise, especially in the wake of the digital wave propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Cape, as Africa’s leading tech hub, is well-positioned to lead this growing market. Currently, the local ScreenTech sector – which is a broad category that refers to anything that has to do with a screen – is flourishing and seeing revenue growth. For instance, South Africa’s video game market is growing at 5.3% and is expected to be worth US$270m by 2025[i] while Africa’s video streaming market is set to grow five-fold[ii]. However, growth is concentrated amongst a few key players. Additionally, lack of funding for projects and studios in the region, along with a general disconnect from the global ecosystem, increases company failure rates and creates enormous barriers to entry. Government, both local and national, have a crucial role to play in developing the sector.
To this end, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) invites startup companies operating in any facet of the ScreenTech space to take part in the upcoming Community of Practice (CoP) workshops, powered by Loudhailer and Silicon Cape. The first of these will be held on Wednesday, 18 November 2020, with three more taking place over the coming months. The workshops will allow members of the ecosystem to connect with, support and challenge their peers for mutual benefit. The aim is to strengthen relationships between stakeholders and bolster their collective learning, while also developing a set of resources for shared benefit, advocacy and collaboration. With expert facilitation, members will develop a set of key outcomes to be achieved over the next three years.
Ahead of the larger CoP engagements, a number of small events will be held to garner industry support and provide a dipstick analysis into the core priority areas of the sector.
The initiative, which will be a world first, forms part of DEDAT’s Dash-Tech Project which aims to harness the strengths and interconnectedness of the local tech ecosystem to solve some of the province’s most pressing problems and open up opportunities for the Western Cape digital economy.