South Africa is the second largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and at the same time an important location for German companies and exports. The republic is a leader in many aspects of digital policy on the African continent: In addition to having the most extensive backbone infrastructure with over 200,000 km of fibre optic cables, South Africa holds Africa's highest ranking in the UN's e-government index and, with its thriving start-up scene, is sub-Saharan Africa's top-ranked country in the Global Innovation Index.
At the same time, South Africa continues to face the challenge of providing broadband and 4G to remote parts of the country, closing the digital divide and driving the fourth industrial revolution in the country; issues that Germany also faces.
The annual gathering of stakeholders from government, business, academia and civil society for the South African Internet Governance Forum underlines South Africa's support for the multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance.
The planned Digital Dialogue between the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport and the South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies offers both countries the opportunity to jointly shape the framework conditions for digital transformation. Relevant digital policy, digital economy and civil society actors are to be involved in the dialogue.
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