An SA economist's view: Digital transformation needs government leadership

Digital services to enable a sustained return to work and travel will be a game changer, but government needs to take a bigger role in enabling an environment for emerging tech to flourish, says Miriam Altman, a strategist for the South African Presidency.

Visualization of data in motion through a data center corridor of servers.
Gorodenkoff / Getty Images

While private enterprises are at the forefront of the digital transformation necessary for economic growth, governments need to take more of a leadership position, investing in human-resource development and establishing public-private partnerships to tackle fundamental issues such as infrastructure and training, according to Dr. Miriam Altman, who among other roles acts as a National Planning Commissioner for the South African Presidency.

Altman's website describes her as a "strategist, economist and social activist" who has served in leadership roles driving significant transformation initiatives. Previously the chief of strategy at South African telecommunications provider, Telkom, Altman is, in addition to her work for the South African Presidency, a professor of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Practice in the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg and runs her own company, Altman Advisory, which develops market strategies for the public and private sector.

With this reach, Altman has a bird's eye view of how digital technologies are making an impact across society.

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