Category Archives: Africa

IBM to invest $60m in Africa to expand cloud, analytics skills

IBM is investing $60m in Africa over three years to train students in cloud, big data and analytics

IBM is investing $60m in Africa over three years to train students in cloud, big data and analytics

IBM will invest $60m in Africa over three years to expand its technical academy and educational initiatives in the region. The company said it wants to bolster its investment in developing stronger regional capabilities in cloud services, big data and analytics.

In Kenya, where IBM’s Africa Research lab and Innovation Centres are based, the company is partnering with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to deliver advanced certification courses in cloud and data sciences to faculty and students of 50 Kenyan universities linked by KENET’s broadband network.

The courses will be administered by IBM technical experts along with key faculty from participating universities.

“With a research laboratory, innovation centers, offices and other advanced facilities in more than 24 African countries, IBM has the highest concentration of technical talent on the African continent,” said Naguib Attia, IBM chief technology officer & vice president of technical leadership, MEA.

“As the leader in science and technology in Africa, we see it as IBM’s responsibility to make a strategic investment in skills development helping to lay the foundations of the Africa of tomorrow,” he said.

Attia said partners hope to reach up to 35,000 students by 2017.

Meoli Kashorda, executive director of Kenya Education Network said the certification program will provide university graduates with critical entry-level job skills in high demand by employers in Kenya and Africa more broadly.

“Both the African universities and leading private sector companies that are investing on the continent stand to benefit from this program,” he said.

The move comes just a few days after IBM unveiled a tech collaboration space in Nairobi, where the company hopes to facilitate tech partnerships between startups in the region. The space, which will make a range of IBM services like Bluemix and various cloud applications available to developers by offering credits, will open in August this year.

IBM, Mubadala joint venture to bring Watson cloud to MENA

IBM is bringing Watson to the Middle East

IBM is bringing Watson to the Middle East

IBM is teaming up with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala Development Company to create a joint venture based in Abu Dhabi that will deliver IBM’s cloud-based Watson service to customers in the Middle East and Northern Afirca (MENA) region.

The companies will set up the joint venture through Mubadala’s subsidiary, Injazat, which will be the sole provider of the Watson platform in the region.

The companies said the move will help create an ecosystem of MENA-based partners, software vendors and startups developing new solutions based on the cognitive compute platform.

“Bringing IBM Watson to the region represents the latest major milestone in the global adoption of cognitive computing,” said Mounir Barakat, executive director of ICT at Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala.

“It also signals Mubadala’s commitment to bringing new technologies and spurring economic growth in the Middle East, another step towards developing the UAE as a hub for the region’s ICT sector,” Barakat said.

Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Watson said Mubadala’s knowledge of the local corporate ecosystem will help the company expand its cognitive compute cloud service in the region.

IBM has enjoyed some Watson wins in financial services, healthcare and the utilities sectors, but the company has been fairly quiet on how much the division rakes in; over the past year the company made strides to expand the platform in the US, Africa and Japan, and recently made a number of strategic acquisitions in software automation in order to boost Watson’s appeal in customer engagement and health services.