Telecommunications and Postal Services hosts Cultural Diversity in a Digital Society Conference: 21 to 22 Sept

Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services to host the Cultural Diversity in a Digital Society Conference: 21 & 22 September 2017, WSU Health Resouce Centre, Umtata

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services will host the Cultural Diversity in Digital Society Conference in Umtata, WSU Health Resource Centre from the 21 to 22 September 2017. The Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, MP Stella Ndabeni Abrams will deliver the key note address on 21 September 2017.

In 2015 the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) entered into a partnership with the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics through the University of Pretoria (UP) to promote research and awareness on the ethical dimensions of an Information Society in Africa.

This was in response to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Declarations which calls on governments to promote usage of ICTs in an ethical manner.

The DTPS has a responsibility to implement Digital Awareness programmes in line with the Digital Opportunities framework of SA Connect policy of government. The conference aims to provide a platform for discussion and research on the influence and effect of ICTs in the practices of the diverse cultures in South Africa is being organised.

Eastern Cape Province has been identified as a host for this first of its kind conference- Cultural Diversity in a Digital Society. A number of cultural activities are highly entrenched amongst the Eastern Cape people and those are, but not limited to, observation of the role traditional leadership and houses �[Inkosi namakhosi], boys’ initiation to manhood � [ulwaluko], traditional weddings- [ukwenda nokwendiswa], consultation of divine healers- [amagqrirha] and spiritual beliefs and religion, to mention but a few.

It is however, acknowledged that these practices are not just unique to the Eastern Cape Province, they are practised in other parts of the country.

The conference objectives have been poised to answer questions as it relates to, amongst others, the following issues:

What is the role of culture in the digital era?

How is culture influenced by the digital environment?

What is the role of culture in peaceful and radical behaviour?

Is acculturation eventually leading to a global culture?

What supports cultural diversity?

A pre-conference Knowledge Exchange Session (KES) has been arranged for fifty (50) students studying towards an Education Qualification to be workshopped on the Ethical Dimensions of an Information Society using the Digital Wellness Toolkit. The aim is to empower the ‘future teachers’ with the knowledge on the Information Ethics so they can use it when they conduct teaching practices in their respective schools.

Source: Government of South Africa

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