NEMISA is in the process of becoming the Ikamva National e-Skills Institute (iNeSI). This is an integration of three entities, NEMISA, the e-Skills Institute (e-SI) and the Institute for Satellite and Software Applications (ISSA).
- NEMISA is a non-profit education institution that trains previously-disadvantaged individuals. Its original focus was developing skills in TV, radio and broadcasting. With the growth of digital technologies, this focus broadened to include skills that fall within digital content production.
- The e-SI is a branch at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Its aim is to enable the e-skilling of South Africa – to train digital skills for the world of technology. It has been building provincial CoLabs and creating training programmes, among other things.
- ISSA is a directorate at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. It offered postgraduate qualifications in engineering and information and communication technology.
NEMISA develops e-skills capacity in South Africa by creating a partnership framework that guides e-skills initiatives. It is part of the solution to ensure that South Africans have the necessary e-skills (digital skills). Developing e-skills is an enormous project and needs partnerships, with government, business, education, civil society, labour, and international stakeholders. NEMISA plays a catalytic role.
Why do we need e-skills? Digital technology (ICT) is becoming more and more essential in everyday life. It affects all areas of life (work, home and social). We need to be able to use the technology effectively – this is called e-skills (digital skills). South Africa needs digital tecshnology and e-skills to help deal with poverty and inequality.
South Africans need e-skills to participate equally in a world dominated by technology. This is particularly important for groups at risk of socio-economic exclusion. This includes the previously disadvantaged, elderly, jobless, marginalised youth, women, and people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
The 4th Industrial Revolution is described as a time when technology will replace many routine jobs. To remain economically active and relevant, people will need to upskill and re-skill – particularly with e-skills.
Developing e-skills is as important as building ICT infrastructure. People need to know how to use the infrastructure effectively. This is important for everyone, including entrepreneurs, public servants, learners, and those in healthcare, tourism, agriculture etc.
The World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index shows that South Africa is not ready for the emerging Digital Economy and Information Society. e-Readiness depends on various elements including infrastructure and e-skills. Currently, there is a shortage of e-skills capacity in the country.
The need to develop e-skills is recognised in national policies, such as: