SMEs have the EDGE in digital age


Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CISCO and the Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub (MDIHub) have launched an EDGE Centre to support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the North West.

This is with a special focus on agriculture, sustainability and cyber security.

EDGE is an acronym for “Experience, Design, GTM (Go to Market) and Earn.”

The centre launched in the provincial capital, Mafikeng, aims to share business knowledge to stimulate innovation, help develop small and medium businesses in the digital age, speed up their entry to market and create new jobs for the local economy.

The centres offer local entrepreneurs and innovators access to state-of-the-art connectivity and networking technologies. The centre will also offer digital skills training from Cisco Networking Academy, one of the longest-standing IT-skills-to-jobs programmes in the world.

Clayton Naidoo, Senior Director for Country Digital Acceleration at Cisco Africa, said bringing the Cisco EDGE experience to regions including the North West is essential to provide South Africans with a chance to participate in the global digital economy.

Cisco believes technology plays a critical role in powering an inclusive future for all.

“By connecting people and businesses via the Cisco ecosystem and platforms, we create real impact and help prepare the country for a digital future,” Naidoo said.

EDGE Centres are part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, a strategic cooperation with government leadership to bring to life elements of a national digital agenda and create new value for countries, industries and citizens.

It was launched in South Africa in 2019.

Last month, Cisco and South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technology announced a new phase of the country’s CDA programme to collaborate on economic development, digital skills and talent development, sustainable critical national infrastructure, cyber security and digitisation of government services.

The MafiHubincubation centre in Mafikeng is the sixth EDGE Centre in South Africa, with other locations across the country in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“We believe that technology is truly powerful when combined with education and upskilling. By working with both SMMEs and young people, we are aiming for maximum impact to speed up our region’s social and economic progress,” said Joseph Ndaba, CEO of Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub.

Since the inception of Cisco Networking Academy in South Africa, Cisco has trained close to 260 000 learners – with a strong female participation rate of 50 percent, and with in-kind contributions of over US$39 million in curriculum, tools, resources and support to students, schools and instructors.

– CAJ News






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