MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism (DEDECT) Mme Kenetswe Mosenogi together with the Head of Department Mr Lufuno Tshikovhi and Senior Managers visited Mahikeng Innovation Digital Hub (MDIHub) to assess progress in terms of the establishment and operations of the Hub, in Mahikeng recently. The Department entered into partnership with Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to promote the establishment and support of business incubators in North West province. Under this agreement, the department and SEDA co-funded the establishment of MDIHub and Leema Township Hub in Mogwase. The MDIHub as it is known is an innovative co-working techno hub focusing on unearthing and cultivating innovative solutions that will ultimately assist entrepreneurs and communities to acclimatize in this vast changing technological world, while creating new business pipelines, new and future jobs, improving efficiency and effectiveness in the North West Province.

MDIHub CEO and member of presidential commission on 4IR, Mr Joseph Ndaba in his presentation explained that the Innovation hub is going to serve as an open community work-space and a platform where innovators, technologists, entrepreneurs, researchers, learners, graduate, small business, cooperates and investor’s to network and implement innovative ideas that will ultimately bear social and economic benefits to the Province and the country at large.

"We will strive to add value to existing companies, foster entrepreneurship and knowledge and technological transfer, generate knowledge-based jobs, and attract innovative companies and institutions," said Mr Ndaba. Mr Ndaba also revealed that their aim to promote and ensure sustainable provision of services, promote social and economic development, promote safe and healthy environment, give priority to the basic needs of communities and encourage involvement of communities. Speaking during the visit, MEC Mosenogi applauded the team for coming up with this innovative idea that will expose young people to participate in the digital economy to improve the lives of the people of the North West Province. She encouraged them to design a model that will provide connectivity in rural areas at a minimal fee and thereafter engage different municipalities to offer support towards the success.

The CEO of hub, Mr. Ndaba gives an overview of their 3D printing equipment

“Our intention as government is to see this project growing, being self-sustainable and creating opportunities to young people from disadvantaged young people especially in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality.

The hub has to date recruited 30 incumbents from different companies and have also partnered with Microsoft and Dell to facilitate entrepreneurship skills development programmes on how they can use technology to improve and grow their businesses especially that Covid 19 has negatively impacted on their businesses.

MEC Mosenogi also advised MDIHub CEO that since the hub is still at its inception stage, they should narrow their focus on specific projects to be able to measure their strength and through this they will be able to generate revenue to sustain their business. The Hub was further advised to operate within their means, identify their strength and to optimally resources available. She pledged Departmental support towards making this project a success. The Department intends to establish the incubation hubs in the remaining two districts of the North West Province targeting innovative business established by young people.