Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is the most current digital innovation hub in Johannesburg. Located in the Braamfontein district, the hub offers a platform for startup incubation. It also offers a platform for research commercialization, and development of strong digital skill for unemployed youths, students, and working professionals. Tshimologong Precinct got support from big companies like MMI, Telkom, Microsoft, Datacentrix, ACSA and Cisco since its launch in September 2016. It has also received support from City of Johannesburg and Gauteng Province via its E-government department. Moreover, Tshimologong is the hub to Lab Africa of IBM Research. There are only 12 such facilities globally.
During its press release on 21st May 2018, the digital innovation hub announced that Lesley Williams, its CEO has been shortlisted among the members of Obama Foundation Leaders’ inaugural class. This is specifically the African Program. William was delighted to be shortlisted as one of the Obama Foundation Leaders more so as an African leader. According to her, South Africa has taken great strides to improve the country and develop the required skills. The country has done that via Tshimologong Precinct and various skills.
The US former President Barack Obama met with upcoming leaders almost all over the world in 2017. The meeting aimed at getting ways through which the Obama Foundation can support the leader’s work. The foundation went ahead to launch Obama Foundation Leaders Africa. This was to help support and improve the upcoming African leaders. The initiative majors in inspiring, empowering, and connecting 200 upcoming African leaders. This helps them to offer solutions to the challenges affecting their communities, countries and the continent as a whole.
William got the appointment to help in its commitment to expand its worldwide network of ethical change makers and innovators who aim at transforming their communities. The group will use technical training, plenary sessions, leadership developments and problem-solving workshops to come up with solutions to the African real challenges. William added that the group will roll out their duty with a workshop in Johannesburg that will last for five days. The workshop will also comprise of a meeting with Barack Obama in the town hall. This will offer Obama an opportunity to know more about the group’s experiences and work on the continent. She adds that Obama will also be delivering the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. The lecture will be under the theme; Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World. This will be used to celebrate Matiba’s 100th birthday. Williams believes that the new role will help her in supporting Tshimologong Precinct in its quest to grow further.