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CoLab for e-Inclusion and Social Innovation
University of the Western Cape (UWC)

It has always been argued the digital technologies (ICTs and broadband specifically) are enablers of growth, and can help achieve the full potential of sustainable development across all dimensions (ITU).  


Over the past several years digital technologies and devices have indeed spread rapidly, have become ubiquitous and pervasive and have in many instances boosted growth, created opportunities and improved service delivery. Yet, their aggregate impact (the digital dividend) has fallen short and is unevenly distributed (Digital Dividend, 2016 World Bank report).


With the world at the tipping point of the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by advances in in ICTs, the future of countries, businesses and individuals will depend more than ever on whether they embrace digital technologies (Prof. Klaus Schwab, WEF 2016).


Within the context of this digital shift or transformation, working towards an inclusive approach for maximum participation in the competitive global digital society and economy, constitutes the core focus of the CoLab for eInclusion and Social Innovation.


In this space it plays a thought leadership, academic and change facilitator role focusing on the following activities:   

  • understanding the digital divide(s) and the implications thereof for the South African society

  • engaging with multi-stakeholders for skills and capability development for participation in the digital economy (leadership skills, digital skills, institutional capability development, digital transformation etc.)

  • finding and developing ways to achieve digital inclusion, especially – but not only – in marginalised communities and groups

  • understanding and supporting the role of intermediaries to facilitate digital skills and capability development  for e-inclusion (interventions)

  • exploring implications of the digital economy for organisations and for small businesses (SMEs), and developing interventions, or advising thereto

  • doing social innovation through the use of digital means

  • doing research and developing research capability to underpin progress in all of these areas.


The CoLab forms the Western Cape point of presence and role-playing for the national e-skills programme under the auspices of NEMISA (becoming iNeSI, the iKamva National e-Skills Institute).

What we do

We deliver on our mandate by engaging in Projects and Interventions; Research; Digital Skills Development; Thought Leadership and Multi-Stakeholder collaborations focused on e-Inclusion and Social Innovation.


Our aim is to contribute towards the competitiveness of South Africa within the Digital Economy.

"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of"


Nelson Mandela


About Us
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