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Change the world

03/07/2024

Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Reino Erasmus, 34, is at the forefront of learning and developing apps at Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Community Technologies and has been named in the Technology & Innovation category of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2024.

 

Reino is a PhD student in Information Technology and holds a Bachelor of Technology in Visual Communication (Design) from Mandela University. He also has a Master’s in Visual Arts (Design) from Stellenbosch University.

Education is changing drastically due to new technologies such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

Some of these technologies, that Reino are working on included the eReady ICT Readiness Assessment Tool, a mechanism that can help implement technology-integrated learning experiences and foster equitable educational opportunities across African communities. 

A decade ago, Reino and his friend and business partner Greig Timkoe also started a small technology design consultancy called Ampersand, which now creates customised digital solutions for global companies.

By embracing the diversity of South Africa and working with people from other backgrounds, he says he was able to break from a cycle of mediocrity and start to dream bigger. 

He was inspired by his PhD supervisor, Distinguished Professor Darelle van Greunen, who helped shape his views on technology design.

Reino is involved in several initiatives such as the B-Wise Youth Health Access digital platform and the Innovation Bridge Portal and works for local government and the departments of basic education and science and innovation. He is using digital solutions to address critical administrative and health problems.

The most significant project that he is currently working on is his extensive research, design and development work on the eReady ICT Readiness Assessment Tool project as an integral component of his ongoing PhD studies.

This initiative, commissioned by the South African departments of basic education and science and innovation, in association with the Technology Innovation Agency, aims to address the significant disparities in ICT levels among South African schools.

“From my experiences in technology design and research, I’ve learned that effective and sustainable implementation hinges on sensitivity to the social environment in which it operates. Often, a simple and elegant solution that directly addresses grassroots needs proves more effective than the most technologically advanced artefact”.

“Professor Van Greunen, has been instrumental in shaping my views on technology design, particularly in understanding how ICT can be harnessed to address fundamental social issues in South Africa”, he says.

“My most notable accomplishments include being honoured with Destiny Man magazine’s Power of 40 award, which celebrates young innovators and trailblazers in South Africa; and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s Top 40 Under 40 award, which recognises young business leaders and achievers in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za