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IBM opens access to SaaS portfolio to help African Universities with next-generation IT skills

Expects to reach thousands of African students for Big Data, analytics and cloud skills training, education and recruiting

LAGOS, Nigeria and NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new IT knowledge-building initiatives that will enable the existing and future workforce to develop new analytics, cloud and data skills crucial to the continent's economic growth and social development.

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Today's technology based services in many African countries are often insufficient or merely addressing point-problems. The continent's challenges, stemming from a lack of key infrastructure, keeping pace with rapid urbanization and other factors, are impediments to developing a cohesive technology base across Africa.

"Leaders in business, education and government agree that enabling the existing and future workforce to perform at the cutting edge of technology trends such as big data, analytics and cloud computing is key to Africa's growth," said Takreem El Tohamy, General Manager IBM Middle East and Africa "This type of investment will help boost regional economic development across Africa and drive industrial innovation for the global economy."

Big Data and the derived technology solutions that create insight and actionable knowledge need to be an integral part of economic development and part of the social fabric. Advancing science and technology by developing skills across Africa to build a talent pipeline for future IBM, business partner and client hirings, are essential to fostering this economic growth.  The IBM programs below are a key first step to making that a reality. Through new delivery models, such as SaaS, IBM is dramatically increasing its reach across the African continent.

IBM Africa Technical Institutes

  • This initiative delivers technical education to the IBM ecosystem of clients and potential clients, business partners and academia to build the knowledge and skills base of IBM IT users
  • The Africa Technical Institute has been rolled out in 11 countries will create further demand for deeper training and certification within the African IT community
  • In total 400 clients, 200 Business Partners and 30 IBMers participated in 2013

Software Skills Enablement

  • This program expands the technical talent base in Africa by offering training and academic skills certification on leading edge technology solutions such as Big Data, cloud computing and mobile services
  • Using channels such as mobile-enabled education delivery and SaaS, the goal is to create a pool of prospective new hires in Africa for clients, business partners and IBM subsidiaries
  • A personalized education portal presents clear roadmaps and provides tests and tracking towards certifications for next generation technologies
  • Piloted in 2013, this skills enablement delivery model will reach 3500 African faculty and students

University Relations and Faculty Awards

  • IBM has deep relationships with universities across Africa and is working with faculty to develop data-driven degree programs, coursework and specialization tracks
  • IBM will award grants to faculty to drive curriculum development and research that will deliver business and technical solutions to advance the key industries of Africa such as banking, telco and natural resources
  • Collaborating with universities across Africa on topics such as sensor-based precision agriculture, renewable energy technologies, energy forecasting, real-time Big Data analytics, and nanotechnology. Many of the research activities will be geared towards having transformational impact on developing economies

LEADing to Africa internship program

  • IBM's global internship programs provide assignments for students to become familiar with IBM's organization, work style, culture and global reach. The LEADing to Africa internship program builds an important recruitment channel across our business in Africa by providing a short-term real, world experience in other IBM markets
  • Students will foster real-world skills in the fields of Big Data & analytics, cloud, business, economics, math, engineering and computer science.  Students in this program have expressed interest in working in Africa upon graduation and will have access to channels to stay connected to IBM and Africa while in their internship assignment, during their studies and for their future career paths.  
  • Recruitment is currently open:

These programs are examples of a set of investments that IBM is making to support IT skills development in Africa. IBM continues to expand our presence across Africa working with local businesses, partners, clients and communities in building Africa's innovation, skills, IT capabilities and talent.  

Media contact:
Ari Entin
[email protected]



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