R10m incubation hub for Durban
10 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914227
CISCO South Africa has opened a R10-million incubation hub in Durban, the second facility of its kind, built by the company, in South Africa and aims to develop SMMEs as well as speed up their entry into the digital marketplace.
In her keynote address at the opening, Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, highlighted the importance of using technology to make economic freedom a reality for South Africans and driving this through SMMEs.
She applauded Cisco for its contribution to building a digital economy and said her department was in talks with the company over the possibility of backing the commitment it made at the Global Citizen Festival to training a million young people in data science.
The hub, based at the Dube Trade Port, is a smart building with cutting-edge Cisco technology that offers complete business facilities including workspaces with high-speed broadband connectivity, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, as well as boardroom and training facilities. In addition, SMMEs will be able to connect with global Cisco experts, who can support them develop business ideas and concepts in a digital world.
“With technology comes many opportunities, especially in Africa, the fastest growing region in the world. Cisco recognises Africa’s talent and we want to continue being an enabler of tech ecosystems across the continent. With our resources, SMMEs are not only able to grow but also stay competitive,” said Clayton Naidoo, General Manager for Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dube Trade Port CEO Hamish Erskine said the objective of the Cisco Edge Center was to create a circle of opportunity for unemployed ICT graduates and that they plan to do this with an ecosystem of partners.
“The kind of facilities at this hub will give entrepreneurs the kind of head start they require to gain a competitive advantage. It will also help them stay ahead of the game in a tough marketplace, while boosting economic growth for the country,” Erskine said.
The centre will provide SMMEs the opportunity to employ graduates from its Networking Academy (NetAcad) program to give them workplace experience. Netacad is the world’s largest classroom giving students hands-on digital skills training for in-demand careers.