Cisco Systems to open Innovation Hub in Nairobi

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US-based tech giant Cisco Systems is set to open an innovation hub in Nairobi in September seeking to tap tech enthusiasts. The company is investing Sh50 million ($500,000) in setting up the lab with a capacity of about 50 developers per cohort.

It plans to host different groups every year, with the length of incubation based on a need basis. Those qualifying for the programme will have to be first assessed to ensure the viability of their digital innovations and skills

The innovation hub is one of three that the firm is launching in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The innovation centers will be free for use by digital innovations and small medium enterprises. Here they will horn their digital skills, meet and collaborate among themselves and get experts advice,” said Cisco East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, David Bunei.

“They will also have access to some of our infrastructure (APIs) which they will use if need be to build solutions around them,” said Mr. Bunei who was speaking during the local launch of the 11th edition of Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report.

The report noted an increased malware sophistication by cyber criminals but institutions and people are increasingly investing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to monitor, detect and arrest suspicious activities.

“In the modern threat landscape, adversaries are adept at evading detection. They have more effective tools, like encryption, and more advanced and clever tactics, such as the abuse of legitimate Internet services, to conceal their activity,” read the report.

In another related report, the company’s shares and other network equipment makers fell on Friday after a report that Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) cloud services business was considering selling its own network switches to business customers at much lower prices.
Cisco, in particular, lost about 5 percent of its market capitalization wiping off in excess of $11 billion.

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Melissa Daniels
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