The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and the Media Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) have entered into a partnership agreement that will see accreditation of a formal skills development programme for the Domain Name System (DNS) industry.

The programme will allow aspiring DNS practitioners to gain knowledge and critical skills, which will enable learners to be absorbed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or start their own business. ISPs are technology companies that offer domain name registration, hosting, and internet connectivity services.

According to Molehe Wesi, CEO of ZADNA, the DNS practitioner course will be first launched in the North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga provinces. The course will be offered for free to eligible South Africans.

The DNS practitioner course will capacitate learners with business management, domain name systems and web development skills. This is intended to be done in partnership with MICT SETA, SEDA and NYDA.

Matome Madibana, acting-CEO of the MICT SETA, says: “It is our priority as the MICT SETA to forge strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the industry to fast-track the development of critical skills as demanded by the emergence of 4IR. Our partnership with .ZA Domain Name Authority will enable the MICT SETA to not only attain its set objectives and support SMME’s but ensure that the MICT SETA makes a positive impact in society by addressing the skills shortages in the sector.”

ZADNA and MICT SETA will also establish Research Chairs across higher education institutions, providing bursaries to Master’s degree and Philosophy degree students for actionable research that will focus on Internet Governance (IG) within the context of 4IR.

Madibana comments: “The MICT SETA has propelled the process of establishing 4IR research chairs at public universities to fund master’s and PhD students as a means to strengthen and improve research and innovation capacity in public universities at the backdrop of 4IR. This will respond to the innovation competitiveness whilst addressing the skills, social and economic challenges in South Africa.”

Wesi says: “Although the research focus will be on 4IR, we intend to make it an interdisciplinary initiative for the Computer Science, Management and Law disciplines”.