IBM Rolls Out African Skills Initiative $60 million investment in next-generation technology talent for next phase of African economic development

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mkashordaIBM Rolls Out African Skills Initiative

$60 million investment in next-generation technology talent for next phase of African economic development

IBM announced an investment of $60 million over three years to develop the next generation of technical talent in Africa. As part of the initiative, IBM is expanding the Africa Technical Academy and the company’s Africa University Programme to over 20 African countries. IT professionals across the continent are set to benefit with advanced skills in analytics, cloud and big data technologies which are crucial to the next phase of Africa’s economic and social development.

In Kenya – home to IBM’s Africa Research lab and a state-of-the-art Innovation Center – IBM is partnering with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to deliver advanced hands-on certification courses to faculty and students of 50 Kenyan universities over KENET’s broadband network. The certification courses will develop and enhance job market readiness among university students by providing the technical expertise that both employers and entrepreneurs require in order to succeed in a fast paced growth market like Kenya.

“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 Dr. Naguib Attia, IBM Chief Technology Officer & VP 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.”

The courses are available at no cost and are facilitated by both IBM online trainers and certified faculty in the participating universities. KENET is the first sub-Saharan National Research and Education Network to enter into such an agreement with IBM that allows all connected member universities to benefit from the certification program.

“This IBM certification program will provide university graduates with critical entry-level job skills that are in high demand by employers in Kenya and Africa,” said Prof Meoli Kashorda, Executive Director, Kenya Education Network. “Both the African universities and leading private sector companies that are investing on the continent stand to benefit from this program,” he added.

University Outreach

IBM Technical Academy runs in parallel with IBM Africa University Programme, in which 80 Universities across the continent currently participate to enhance their curriculum. These universities provide their final year students with the range of business analytics, cybersecurity, data management, cloud and mobile technology training via the technical role based model applied in the IBM Technical Academy.

Academic staff and students are supported by IBM’s team of experts, cloud-based resources and an IBM training and information portal. Course ware currently delivered in English is being expanded to French, and will later include other African languages.

“The early success of the programme is evident in the graduation numbers from the programme. When the training is offered in more than 80 Universities across Africa, we will be able to reach and offer certification to over one thousand faculty members and more than 35,000 students by 2017,” added IBM’s Dr. Attia.