Telkom and Wits Business
The Telkom Chair in Digital Business at the Wits Business School is Africa’s first chair in this space. The signing ceremony took place on 18 May 2016. In addition to its initial R32, 7 million funding over five years, Telkom is creating a black internship programme for Wits Business School students. Telkom will also offer free digital business training to its own staff. Through this Chair, Wits Business School plans to conduct research in the field of digital business in Africa, and advance awareness of digital business and digital readiness by engaging with business, government and communities.
“This Chair will ensure that as a business school located in the economic heart of Africa, we are at the forefront of delivering important research and relevant programmes that are essential for doing business in today’s digitised world,” says Professor Steve Bluen, Head of the Wits Business School. “The impact of this Chair is significant. Not only will it contribute to the economy by developing essential skills that will boost employment and encourage start-ups, but it responds directly to the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy adopted by the African Union in 2014 which aims to reposition the continent as a collection of technology-driven economies, ensuring the sustainable growth of the countries within.”
Mr Sipho Maseko, Group Chief Executive at Telkom, explains that the availability of studies in digital business was an essential development for Africa and South Africa: “Most businesses are, to an ever-increasing extent, online businesses. Digitalisation is helping companies achieve their business goals in a new real-time, information-rich marketplace. This is the world our young people are entering.” Mr Maseko says the collaboration with the Wits Business School would also help to identify and develop black South African and African talent in the field of digital business. “The next generation of business people will be even more exposed to new technologies, along with the threats and opportunities of digital disruption. Unless digital business is part of the business model, companies won’t survive.”