Cisco partners with Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub (MDIHub) to launch EDGE Centre. This initiative focuses on aiding small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in areas such as agriculture, sustainability, and cybersecurity.
EDGE, which stands for “Experience, Design, GTM (Go to Market), and Earn,” seeks to disseminate business expertise to foster innovation, support the development of small and medium businesses in the digital era, accelerate their market entry, and generate employment opportunities for the local economy. These centers provide local entrepreneurs and innovators access to cutting-edge connectivity and networking technologies.
Clayton Naidoo, Senior Director for Country Digital Acceleration at Cisco Africa, stated, “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.
At Cisco, we believe that 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.”
Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration Program
These EDGE Centres are part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, a strategic collaboration with government leadership to realize aspects of a national digital agenda and create new value for countries, industries, and citizens. The program was launched in South Africa in 2019.
Collaboration to Accelerate Economic Development
Recently, Cisco and South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technology announced a new phase of the country’s CDA program to cooperate on economic development, digital skills, talent development, sustainable critical national infrastructure, cybersecurity, and digitization of government services.
MafiHub Incubatio Centre
The MafiHub incubation center in Mafikeng is the sixth EDGE Centre in South Africa, with additional locations across the country in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.
Joseph Ndaba, CEO of Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub, emphasized, “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.”
Cisco’s Networking Academy
Moreover, the center will offer digital skills training through Cisco Networking Academy, a long-standing IT skills-to-jobs program. In South Africa, Cisco has trained nearly 260,000 learners through this program, with a strong female participation rate of 50%.
The program has provided over USD 39 million in curriculum, tools, resources, and support to students, schools, and instructors. According to Networking Academy surveys, 96% of students who took Cisco certification-aligned courses have obtained jobs or further educational opportunities.