In2IT aligns with UN sustainable development goals of education, healthcare and gender equality
ICT managed solutions provider In2IT Technologies is aligning itself with three of the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically education, healthcare and gender equality. According to the UN, these goals "are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all", and technology has a crucial role to play if these goals are to be achieved by 2030.
Saurabh Kumar, CEO at In2IT Technologies South Africa, says: “Technology is a key enabler in addressing many of the global issues we face today, and there needs to be a shift in mindset. Rather than focusing on profit alone, technology companies need to take the lead in developing solutions that can help to solve societal challenges. We have launched numerous projects in the last three years, starting with education initiatives, and hope to further our positive impact going forward.”
The skills gap in the IT space is well known, and education is critical in addressing this. In2IT has looked towards initiatives that nurture young professionals and upskills them in order to positively impact the ICT industry and the country as a whole. Graduates that form part of their In2intellects learnership will soon be participating in the next step of the learnership by attending an artificial intelligence (AI) training programme. Here, learners will have the opportunity to interface with In2IT’s chatbot – Mapula.
“Education forms the foundation of our economy; however, education in technology benefits those who already have somewhat of a head start in life, especially if they have already graduated from tertiary institutions. As a result, we felt it was necessary to look towards improving healthcare as a second goal as it is also a massive challenge in developing countries in particular,” explains Kumar.
Healthcare is an important fundamental for all humans. Yet more than 70% of women that live in sub-Saharan Africa die in childbirth. The predominant reason for their deaths is the lack of availability of blood for transfusions. In 2018, In2IT developed a solution to address this shortage using blockchain, and off the back of this, launched several further initiatives. By the end of 2020, In2IT aims to have eight healthcare solutions in the market aimed at tackling primary healthcare challenges, using artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IOT) among other technologies.
“With education and healthcare programmes in full swing, we saw fit to make gender equality our third and final goal to focus on. Although there were many deciding factors as to why we chose gender equality, there was a particular concern with emerging technology that led us to address the issue. This was namely because with evolving AI technology, the vast majority of programming is performed by men, which will create an inherent masculine bias. As a result, we decided to focus on increasing the involvement of women in AI to assist in closing the gender gap,” Kumar continues.
In2IT plans to launch six impactful initiatives that will be launched by the end of 2020, two of which are already in production. One of these aims to have 1 000 female developers being trained and groomed to become involved in AI-based solutions. Multiple education initiatives are already in place to expose rural scholars to training on technologies like blockchain and AI. A further 11 projects are in development to create talent and drive the skills evolution for the South African market.
“The time for selfish, profit-driven business has passed. We need to shift our focus towards solutions that solve problems and support the world for the future,” Kumar concludes.