Cisco Appoints Government Affairs Director for Africa


Siya MadyibiCisco has appointed Siyabonga Madyibi to the new position of Government Affairs Director for Africa.  This is Cisco’s first Government Affairs position for the continent.

In this new role Siyabonga, who has over 14 years’ experience in telecom policy, will lead Cisco’s government affairs and public policy strategy in Africa, engaging with top government officials and key policy makers in Africa. His remit will focus initially on South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria working in close partnership and alignment the Cisco’s Africa Leadership team, led by David Meads, VP for Africa at Cisco, on policies and relationships that will advance Cisco’s business in Africa.

Pastora Valero, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Cisco Europe, Middle East & Africa and Russia CIS (EMEAR): We are delighted to have Siyabonga on board especially at a time when we are witnessing considerable growth and investment in ICT throughout Africa which makes proactive engagement with governments a vital strategic imperative for us at Cisco. I look forward to working with him as a key contributor to our global Government Affairs team as we actively support African governments in the drive to increase access to affordable, reliable technology.”

As the home to nine of the world’s fifteen fastest growing economies, Africa is ripe for transformation making it an increasingly attractive environment for global business investments. Technology is at an inflection point, in which it can transform African economies and create many new opportunities, with the increased digitization of countries.  Subsequently, governments throughout the continent are now increasingly becoming aware of the importance of growth in ICT and the benefits it can offer.

Cisco projects that 50 billion devices – or “things” – will be connected to the internet by 2020, offering a platform for African countries to use this to achieve greater broadband penetration across the continent leading to improvements that will better social and economic prosperity for its citizens.

For the past decade Siyabonga has led the government and regulatory strategy for Dimension Data in Africa. Before that, he worked with the South African Regulator, ICASA, and for MTN, one of the leading mobile operators in the telecoms sector in Africa. Siyabonga holds a BA Law degree from the University of Cape Town and an LLB degree from the University of Natal.

Siyabonga Madyibi, Government Affairs Director, Cisco, Africa,“I look forward to leading Cisco’s Government Affairs program in Africa given its important and integral role in Cisco’s strategy for growth in Africa.  With the technology market currently growing at an exponential rate and governments playing an important role to helping to develop the opportunities that are being created, Cisco aims to actively partner with government departments to help drive this growth and build on these opportunities.”