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Africa Beyond 4IR selects new board

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Ramateu Lefty Monyokolo, chairperson of AB4IR.
Ramateu Lefty Monyokolo, chairperson of AB4IR.

Digital innovation hub Africa Beyond 4IR (AB4IR) has appointed six board directors who will govern and provide oversight of the non-profit organisation, effective August.

The new board members, according to the organisation, bring with them years of experience and leadership to help move the digital creative industry to new heights while growing the South African economy.

Established in 2019, in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Tshwane South Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in Mabopane, AB4IR aims to redress the digital divide that exists in previously disadvantaged communities in SA.

The Mabopane-based hub serves as a vehicle that enables and exposes disadvantaged communities to gaming, animation, drone technology and virtual reality business opportunities by assisting them to develop and commercialise their innovations.

Its list of programmes and initiatives include business incubation; offering coding and programming skills; running tech empowerment projects for women; hosting tech-focused events; running the Drone Economy Programme, which focuses on the skilling, empowerment and inclusion of the marginalised groups; and conducting match-making projects for start-up entrepreneurs.

The new board members are:

  • Ramateu Lefty Monyokolo, who is appointed chairperson of AB4IR, has over 20 years of operational and strategic business leadership in ICT, innovation, corporate governance, business process optimisation, community development, coaching and project management.
  • Dipuo Marogoa, who has a background in the executive support environment. She holds an IMM diploma, a BBA degree and a certificate in digital business management, and is an entrepreneur at heart.
  • Professor Tankiso Moloiis a professor of accounting, and Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority chairman in 4IR at the University of Johannesburg ResearchDivision. He also sits on the regional advisory panel for the Africa Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Moloi has 16 years of experience in leading strategic business units in the higher education, mining and national statistical services sectors.
  • Nontombi Maruleis director: innovation and technology at the Department of Trade Industry and Competition. She holds a master’s degree in innovation studies. She is fuelled by innovation that drives sustainable economic development through enterprise development and industrialisation.
  • Colin Leshouis Seda Gauteng provincial manager and holds a master’s degree in development finance and business administration.
  • Sipho Mothobiis a founding member of AB4IR and an independent IT consultant. He holds a master’s degree in strategy, creativity, innovation and group process management and business administration.

Together with AB4IR CEO Kelebogile Molopyane, the new board will provide insight and foresight in executing the organisation’s strategies. They will serve a three-year renewable term.

“I am pleased to officially welcome our board members to the AB4IR family,” says Molopyane.

“We are excited about their impressive and diverse range of backgrounds, extensive experience in SMME development and shared vision to develop more innovative township start-ups. We look forward to the board members’ support that will further enable us to advance the digital creative industry in our communities and shape the current state of digital innovations in our country.”

Molopyane is also a board member of the Drone Council South Africa, which was established last year.

Among its goals for 2021, the organisation says it seeks to consolidate the current list of partnerships locally and globally, seek strategic partners for funding of its programmes, establish a second innovation and incubation hub, and equip the centre with the latest technologies.

“With my appointment as chairperson of the board and on behalf of the fellow board members, we are committing ourselves to make AB4IR a decisive and effective digital innovation hub to advance and bridge the digital and gender divide in the ICT sector and also focus on the strengthening of the digital innovation ecosystem while uplifting the communities we serve,” says Monyokolo.

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