The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) will host the Grassroots Innovation Workshop at the Promenade Hotel in Mbombela, on Thursday, 10 October 2019, under the theme Innovation for Inclusive Growth. The event will take place from 09:00.

The hosting of the workshop follows an exercise that was undertaken by the dti to search for grassroots innovators in rural and township areas. The exercise was aimed at establishing accessibility to the dti’s innovation support instruments by underserviced citizens in line with government’s drive to revitalise township and rural economies.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina explains that the exercise revealed that valuable knowledge and experience exists in communities generated by grassroots innovators in townships and rural areas, where there was mainly a shortage of infrastructure and proper services. These innovators continuously seek solutions to local problems using limited local resources.

To add value to this critical knowledge, we have committed to engage these innovators through a series of workshops to allow our officials to gain better insight on the needs of grassroots innovators to enable the adjustment of existing instruments to meet their needs, says Gina.

The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Pat Ngomane, expressed his appreciation for the workshop and encouraged the youth to take advantage of the opportunity and use instruments that are readily available within the dti to leverage their innovativeness to exploit opportunities that come with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

The planned workshop will also cover products and services of the dti, DEDT, Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

Source: Department of Trade and Industry