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CiTi adds three new board members to back move to expand support initiatives

The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has announced the appointment of three additional directors to its board to support the organisation as it expands its support and training programmes.

To cope with the demand from the digital economy, CiTi recently increased the volume of technology candidates placed in jobs through its CapaCiTi Job Readiness Programme which aims to support 3000 placements over the next three years. In addition, CiTi is expanding its incubation and enterprise development programmes to meet the Pan-African demand.

In a statement yesterday (1 October), Joshin Raghubar, chairman of CiTi and The Bandwith Barn announced the appointment of Sweepsouth co-founder Aisha Pandor, former BCX CEO Ian Russel and independent management consultant Tamara Esau (pictured above, left to right) to CiTi’s board of directors.

“As we approach our 20th Anniversary next year, we not only wish to consolidate our position as Africa’s oldest technology incubator, but we also want to equip ourselves to play a major role in transforming and capacitating South Africa’s digital economy,” said Raghubar.

Aisha Pandor, Ian Russel and Tamara Esau have been appointed to CiTi’s board of directors

Commenting in the same statement Pandor said working with the CiTi executive team and board in delivering digital transformation solutions to its partners, clients and entrepreneurs would be “an amazing opportunity”.

“Particularly at a time when the country and continent are recognising the transformative role that technology and access to technology can play in solving such critical issues as the need for better and more democratised skills development, tackling high unemployment rates (particularly amongst the youth) and access to quality education,” said Pandor.

“It’s also an honour to work with such an established organisation and team, who have since 1999 been at the forefront of promoting tech and innovation and have already produced such amazing results,” she added.

‘Chance to accelerate next generation of entrepreneurs’

Russell, who was part of Telkom’s executive committee and was at the heart of the organisation’s turnaround, is currently the founder and CEO of the Disrupting Consultancy firm, which focuses on advising and leading organisations through our ever-changing landscape.

“Having worked closely with the CiTi team for the best part of a decade, in many guises, I am delighted to be joining their board, giving me a chance to help accelerate the development of next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses,” he said.

‘Inspired by CiTi’s models of success’

Esau headed up the management consultant team for KPMG in Cape Town, her area of specialisation is in the financial management advisory services. She was the partner in charge of the Management Consulting practice at KPMG Cape Town.

Esau was also part of the Aspen Global Leaders Network and a fellow of the African Leadership Network.

“I’m inspired by CiTi’s alternative “models of success” — providing education beyond that of formal, typically inaccessible degrees,” said Esau.

“That’s how I like to engage with change, through building initiatives such as these that arm people with skills that give agency to individuals  — that’s how best to impact a community,” she added.

‘Measure of impact’

Commenting in the same statement, CiTi and The Bandwidth Barn CEO Ian Merrington said the executive team at CiTi welcome the additional experience and diversity that the three new board members bring to the organisation.

“I have no doubt that they will play a major strategic role in assisting CiTi to evolve to meet the enormous challenges which South Africa faces with regards to youth unemployment and the technology skills crises,” he added.

Featured image (left to right): Aisha Pandor, Ian Russel and Tamara Esau (Supplied)