Dash-Tech is an initiative aimed at growing the tech ecosystem in the Western Cape

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has set a goal of being recognized as Africa’s Tech Capital. As a result, the department has launched a number of initiatives that formulate the critical ingredients needed for achieving this goal. One of these initiatives being the support of the local tech ecosystem.

This initiative, also known as the ‘Dash-Tech’, aims to capitalize upon the burgeoning start-up culture in the Western Cape Region. The department seeks to do this by optimizing the local enabling environment and ecosystem.

The purpose of this project is to strengthen the technology ecosystems within the Western Cape. The target will be on specialized subsectors in which there is a demonstrated competitive advantage and/or that are aligned to the strategic priorities.

The department has outlined 3 objectives to support the Western Cape tech sector:

  1. Create platforms for diverse stakeholders to strengthen partnerships, foster collaboration and nurture innovation. As a result, improve product development and open new markets and supply-chains.
  2. Implement projects that fill structural gaps in the ecosystem. They will range from sources of funding to the quality and quantity of start-ups and the efficacy of incubators and accelerators.
  3. Leverage partnerships with National and Local Government to address regulatory issues affecting competitiveness in the tech ecosystem.

The Department asked 20 incubators and accelerators situated in the Western Cape what would need to be done to propel the sector forward. Research firms have concluded that the region’s key strengths are networks for partnerships, infrastructure, and the perception/reputation of the Western Cape region as a hub for incubators, supplemented by the lifestyle and good access to skills.

The DashTech project will build on these strengths and work together with the local technology stakeholder to tackle some of the structural barriers impeding its potential.

As a start, we will be focussing on 5 technology ecosystems.

  • ScreenTech: all technologies that utilize screens to interface with people including film, multimedia, gaming, animation, mobile, etc.
  • SafetyTech: Safety and security technologies
  • Fintech – financial technology including mobile payments, e-wallets, etc. towards the improvement and automation of the delivery and use of financial services.
  • TownshipTech – a variant of the general ‘Smart Cities’ concept attuned to local township conditions and geared toward technology solutions for township communities.
  • 4IRTech: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Blockchain, additive manufacturing, IoT, and other emerging technologies

We have appointed 5 ecosystem coordinators who will be driving coordinating various events, webinars, round-tables, challenges, etc, tailored to the bespoke needs of each technology sector over the next 2.5years.

The tech sector has been one of the industries that have come out stronger in a post-Covid-19 world. They possess new channels of opportunity and have a significant potential for growth and job creation.

If you are interested in joining any of these tech sector forums, just let us know on email: dedat.broadband@westerncape.gov.za

For information on events and workshops taking place in this project see https://www.westerncape.gov.za/site-page/events-and-notices


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