Release Date: 18 May, 2016

Telkom Chair in Digital Business Announcement

It was announced that Africa’s first Chair in Digital Business is to be established at the Wits Business School through a five-year funding commitment from Telkom.

The signing ceremony took place at Senate House on Wits main campus with Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University and Sipho Maseko, Group Chief Executive at Telkom as the signatories.

The rapid development of information and communication technologies around the world and across the continent means that these days the internet is a key part of most businesses.  The development of a successful digital ecosystem is therefore crucial to the continent’s economic growth and international competitiveness. And the time to act is now.

This is why the impact of the Telkom Chair in Digital Business at Wits Business School, a first for South Africa and the continent, cannot be underestimated. Developing essential skills that will drive innovation, boost employment and encourage start-ups is paramount to our economic growth.   

Not only will the Chair contribute to the economy, but it responds directly to the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy adopted by the African Union in 2014 that aims to reposition the continent as a collection of technology-driven economies.

As we stand on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, business must understand the challenges, opportunities and risks of digital business, and be able to develop and implement digital business strategies to survive and to remain competitive locally and globally.  Digitalisation is helping companies achieve their business goals in a new real-time and information-rich marketplace the world over and we need to ensure we play a role.

The collaboration will entail research, curriculum content and an internship programme. A scholarship programme and a Telkom specific training programme will also be included. Potential additional developments will be announced in the future.

The Telkom Chair in Digital Business forms part of a larger technology ecosystem comprised a number of Wits University projects and will ensure that, as a business school located in the economic heart of Africa, we are at the forefront of delivering relevant programmes that are essential for doing business in today’s digitised world.

I am proud of the teams at WBS, Wits and Telkom whose common vision and commitment were instrumental in driving the project forward to this exciting culmination and I look forward the sharing future developments with you as we roll the project out.