AfricanBrains http://africanbrains.net Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:15:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The first cohort of students in the Total Young Graduate Programme http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/the-first-cohort-of-students-in-the-total-young-graduate-programme/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/the-first-cohort-of-students-in-the-total-young-graduate-programme/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:15:21 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28803 TOTALThe first cohort of students in the Total Young Graduate Programme: more than 100 talented young people have already joined one of the Group’s subsidiaries in Africa and the Middle East

Between now and 2017, some 500 will have benefited from this ground-breaking professional opportunity

Total (http://www.total.com) founded the Young Graduate Programme in April 2014 – an innovative initiative aimed at young graduates from more than 40 of the countries in Africa and Middle East in which we operate. The programme is an opportunity for them to discover working life through a genuine hands-on professional experience and gain an insight into how an international company operates over an 18-month period.

“This programme is visible and powerful evidence of our commitment in Africa and the Middle East, and of our willingness to tackle the concerns of these countries, as well as meet the expectations of young people living in them. For them, unlike young people living in Europe, finding an internship can be extremely complex – even if they have excellent university degrees. By giving them their first professional experience and their first taste of life in an international company, we are giving them a leg up the ladder and providing them with valuable support in establishing themselves on the marketplace”, says Momar Nguer, Senior Vice President Africa/Middle East for Total Marketing & Services.

The Total Young Graduate Programme is a structured pathway that recent graduates follow over a period of 18 months. It includes two key phases. First of all, the young people are hired on short-term contracts and receive training in finance, business or operations for six months at a Total subsidiary in Africa or the Middle East. Their performance is then assessed and if they meet the required standards, they are then sent to another Total subsidiary in the same region where they work for a period of 12 months. This way the Total group is able to ensure that each of the countries in Africa and the Middle East in which it operates is able to benefit from the expertise and experience that these young recruits have acquired in their own countries.

“So far, more than 100 talented young people have joined the programme, and around 20 of them are already in their second post, in a different country. The first months have been very positive and the programme is proving tremendously successful – we have received nearly 10,000 applications. The programme is set to be a long-term initiative; between now and 2017, more than 500 young people will have been able to benefit from this opportunity”, says Christophe Mouret, Total M&S’s Vice President Human Resources for Africa and the Middle East.

For more information about the Total Young Graduate Programme, visit www.careers.total.com

Have you been educated to university level and are you interested in an international career in Africa and the Middle East? Then apply online today to be part of the 2015 cohort on our Young Graduate Programme!

The Total Young Graduate Programme in Africa and the Middle East – a few key figures:

100 talented young people recruited onto the programme

3 types of job: technical, financial, business

54% women

40 host countries

64 universities from which the Young Graduates have been sourced

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SKA to enhance development in SA http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/ska-to-enhance-development-in-sa/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/ska-to-enhance-development-in-sa/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:02:52 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28799 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

By-SAnews.gov.za

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the South African government has identified the construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as a strategic infrastructure project overseen by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee.

The Deputy President says it is anticipated that this will lead to new innovations in manufacturing and construction.

“The SKA forms part of efforts to transform South Africa’s economy through human capital development, innovation, value addition, industrialisation and entrepreneurship,” he said, speaking at his visit to the site of SKA in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape on Saturday.

He said the project will create jobs not only during the next decade or so of construction, but also for the next 50 years of operation and maintenance.

“The SKA project, which is aligned with the African Union’s 10-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, will help drive human capital development on the continent. It will contribute to Africa’s efforts to build innovation-led, knowledge-based economies,” he said.

He said this is in efforts that seek to harness science, technology and innovation to advance the continent’s developmental goals.

The SKA is a global science and engineering project to build the world’s largest radio telescope, and the Deputy President said it will collect and process vast amounts of data, which will require and encourage significant advances in high-performance computing.

“Producing the thousands of dishes required for the SKA will demand an entirely new way of building highly sophisticated and sensitive scientific instruments,” said the Deputy President.

Youth Development

Deputy President Ramaphosa said the 699 students and postdoctoral fellows that have been supported through the SKA South Africa bursary and fellowship programme are at the forefront of leading the project.

He said this project is developing technical and artisan skills while producing a new cohort of young scientists.

“Scientists are not born. They are made. They are the products of a society that values knowledge, promotes learning and rewards innovation. They are products of a society that reads, of schools that work and parents that are engaged in the intellectual development of their children.

“We need universities that have the academic capacity and financial resources to conduct ground-breaking research, companies that are prepared to dedicate resources to research and development, understanding that sustained profitability depends on innovative products and evolving ways of working, schools that have libraries, and schools that have capable and enthusiastic teachers of maths, science and language,” he said.

National Development Plan

He said Science and technology can do much in the fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The Deputy President said the National Development Plan (NDP) highlights the vital role played by science, technology and innovation in national development and equitable growth.

“Throughout human history, technological progress has fuelled economic and social development. From agriculture to commerce, from health care to communications, from manufacturing to education, technology has transformed the human experience,” he said.

He said while the first phase of the SKA will be situated in South Africa and Australia, there are currently 11 countries that participate as members of the SKA Organisation.

“Around 100 organisations from about 20 countries have been participating in the design and development of the SKA. It is particularly significant that eight other African countries will be involved in hosting the second phase of the project. This promises to   establish Africa as a hub for expanding scientific inquiry,” he said.

He said the Square Kilometre Array will be a revolutionary new radio telescope, and it will be a highly flexible instrument designed to address fundamental questions in astrophysics, fundamental physics, cosmology, particle astrophysics and astrobiology.

“Through the SKA we will be able to probe the cosmic Dark Ages and previously unexplored parts of the distant universe. We will use it to search for planets and black holes, and examine galaxy evolution, cosmology and dark energy, in search of answers to fundamental questions about our origins and how the universe works,” he said.

 He said government commends, encourages and supports partnerships between the SKA Project Office and the private sector that are transforming the lives of our communities in the Northern Cape.

 “We are witnesses to human capital development through a bursary programme for learners in the surrounding areas of Williston, Brandvlei, Van Wyksvlei and Carnarvon,” he said.

 He encouraged all to work together to expand knowledge and apply what is discovered to improve the condition of all life on the earth.

 “Let us work together to explore the history of our universe and, in doing so, secure our common future,” said the Deputy President.

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Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs to win $75,000 by applying to 2015 Anzisha Prize http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/africas-youngest-entrepreneurs-to-win-75000-by-applying-to-2015-anzisha-prize/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/02/africas-youngest-entrepreneurs-to-win-75000-by-applying-to-2015-anzisha-prize/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:09:43 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28795 .

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The Anzisha Prize is expanding, after initial success, to provide increased support to entrepreneurial youth and partner organisations to drive pan-African economic growth to 2020

The 5th Anzisha Prize application phase is now open (http://www.anzishaprize.org), and the search is on to find Africa’s youngest, most exciting social and business entrepreneurs under 22 years of age. Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with over 600m people under the age of 25. The Anzisha Prize is a growing social impact program entirely focused on accelerating the entry of millions of young Africans into viable and exciting entrepreneurship opportunities within high growth economic sectors.

The impact and success of the program to date has encouraged co-hosts African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation to extend their collaboration for a further 5 years. The Anzish Prize will be a feature of the entrepreneur landscape in Africa until 2020, and aggresively expand its activities to not only encourage young entrepreneurs, but strengthen and celebrate the ecosystem of organisations that develop young African entrepreneurial talent in this age group.

They call it the #AnzishaEffect (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AnzishaEffect&src=typd), and it is the power of stories about the very youngest entrepreneurs among us to encourage others to follow in their footsteps. Africa needs strong, innovative entrepreneurial young leaders to create jobs, solve problems and drive our economies. Our continent’s future will be determined by entrepreneurial leaders across all sectors.

“We have already seen the #AnzishaEffect at work through the inspirational stories and leadership of Anzisha Fellows like Laetitia Mukungu, Andrew Mupuya and Thato Kgatlhanye. They are now globally recognized and celebrated role models,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “We’re excited about expanding our support of the Anzisha Prize so that many more young entrepreneurs in Africa can make a lasting impact in their communities and countries.”

Each year, 12 finalists win a two-week trip to South Africa for a learning experience of a lifetime at African Leadership Academy, and share over $75,000 USD in cash funding. At a Gala Dinner, the grand prize winner is announced and recieves $25,000 with which to grow their business. From 2015, Anzisha Fellows will be actively supported through the recently launched Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U), based at African Leadership Academy, which is a collaboration with leading business incubators on the continent. Mentorship, consulting services, community gatherings and travel opportunities will now define the fellow experience as they grow their business ventures. New programs will be announced soon that focus on and invest into other areas of the youth entrepreneur value chain.

Applications close on April 15th, 2015, and nominations are encouraged. The Anzisha Prize is one of the most accessible and inclusive pan-African opportunities for youth from any background. Application forms and information are available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, and the Anzisha Prize Tour team will visit key hubs and engage local media in every region. There are also over 25 country partner organisations who are available to assist applicants in countries where the tour does not reach. Both paper and electronic applications are accepted.

“There are few programs with the reach and potential of the Anzisha Prize that are so focused on this age group,” comments Josh Adler, Director for the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership at African Leadership Academy, and Manager of the Anzisha program, “This year, we will see the various parts of the ecosystem we’ve been investing into since 2010 begin to really work together for the benefit of Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, wherever they may be!”

Follow the story of this year’s Anzisha Prize online (anzishaprize.org), on Facebook (fb.com/anzishaprize), Twitter (twitter.com/anzishaprize) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/anzishaprize)

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SA: R840m to upgrade varsities http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-r840m-to-upgrade-varsities/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-r840m-to-upgrade-varsities/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:53:47 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28791 nzimande

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande

R840 million will be allocated to historically disadvantaged institutions (HDIs) from the development grant over the next two financial years.

This emerged during a meeting in Parliament on Wednesday, where the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training was briefed on the implementation of recommendations by the Ministerial Committee for the Review of Funding of Universities.

Briefing the committee on the progress of implementing the recommendations, the Reference Group and Technical Team indicated that there have been at least three recommendations that have been finalised by Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande for implementation in the 2015/16 financial year.

HDI development fund
One of the recommendations to be implemented is on the HDI development fund, which will see funds allocated for a five-year period (2015/16 to 2019/20) mainly for infrastructure.

The committee heard that for the next two financial years, a total of approximately R840 million would be allocated to HDIs. This comprises R410 734 000 for 2015/16 and R433 532 000 for 2016/17.

Committee chairperson Yvonne Phosa said higher education is a driver of global competitiveness, especially in the age of knowledge-based global economy.

“In line with the National Development Plan, we want the country to produce a highly skilled workforce so we can compete globally. However, financial constraints, which are compounded by historical disadvantage to a large extent, have been an impediment to our envisaged goals,” said Phosa.

Phosa said it was clear from the presentation by the Reference Group and Technical Team that the review of the funding formula was a much needed exercise in the higher education sector.

She further emphasised the need for monitoring and evaluating the infrastructure-related projects that would be carried out.

“This would assist to ensure that the infrastructure is used accordingly and properly maintained.”

The report of the Ministerial Committee identified seven HDIs. These include Fort Hare, Limpopo, Venda, Walter Sisulu, Western Cape, Zululand and Mangosuthu University of Technology. Sefako Makgatho Health Science University was also recognised as a HDI institution.

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SA urges businesses to invest in infrastructure http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-urges-businesses-to-invest-in-infrastructure/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-urges-businesses-to-invest-in-infrastructure/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:00:50 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28788 Mzwandile Masina

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina

Investment in infrastructure is essential to enhance economic development, intra-trade and regional integration, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina.

Speaking during the second leg of the 6th annual India Trade and Investment Initiative (ITI) hosted in Kolkata, India, Deputy Minister Masina said it was important to emphasise that the bedrock of new growth in the African continent will come from infrastructure development.

“The opportunity to collaborate with Indian companies will make it possible for South Africa to realise the deliverables of the programme, in particular the North-South corridor, with emphasis on road and rail infrastructure,” he said on Thursday.

The ITI forms part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s export and investment promotion strategy to focus on India as a high growth export market and foreign direct investment source.

Deputy Minister Masina urged the Indian business delegation to optimally use the ITI platform and give voice to key issues in the infrastructure, agro-processing, mining and minerals beneficiation, electro-technical, cosmetics and renewable energy sectors represented by the 25-member business delegation from South Africa attending the ITI.

He said South Africa and India share a common vision to address the triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

“I am of the firm view that it is through initiatives of this nature that we will be able to address the challenges of unemployment, advance the fight against poverty and accelerate economic transformation within our respective countries,” said Deputy Minister Masina.

The chair of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Kalyan Kar, said India’s investment in South Africa is over $33 billion in different sectors.

Kar said Indian businesses are keen to invest and collaborate with South Africa, especially in the coal mining sector.

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First AfriK4R-COMESA Peer Review Meeting Launched in Nairobi http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/first-afrik4r-comesa-peer-review-meeting-launched-in-nairobi/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/first-afrik4r-comesa-peer-review-meeting-launched-in-nairobi/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:24:43 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28784 .

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The first peer-review meeting for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) under the Africa for Results (AfriK4R) initiative kicked off in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on February 24, 2015.

The three-day meeting is aimed at evaluating the efforts of eight COMESA member states and associated country Tanzania in improving policy convergence and results-oriented policies and programs in the region, with a focus on accelerating the implementation of development interventions.

Speaking at the opening on behalf of Kenya’s Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Principal Secretary Eng. Peter Mangiti stressed the need for development interventions with a transformative impact. He also challenged country delegates to plan and implement better in order to “make sure development drivers are impacting people’s lives at least possible cost”.

Kipyego Cheluget, Assistant General Secretary for Programmes at the COMESA Secretariat, made a passionate appeal to member states to show commitment to achieving results and help scale up the benefits of regional integration.

In her presentation on COMESA and its Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Anne Ndirangu, Chief of Monitoring and Evaluation at the COMESA Secretariat, emphasized that “regional integration is the way forward for Africa”; echoing the sentiments of Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs Phylis Kandie, who was represented by Integration Secretary Barrack Ndegwa. The Tripartite FTA is slated for launch by mid-2015.

During his speech on behalf of Gabriel Negatu, Director of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Resource Center (EARC), Stefan Muller called on delegates to address the issue of “soft” infrastructure which would help “build strong and accountable institutions and create a performance culture that permeates the management of public affairs and accelerates regional integration”.

Victoria Chisala, AfCoP Coordinator and Results Division Manager of Quality and Results at the Bank, reiterated both AfCoP and AfDB’s commitment to supporting regional integration efforts in the COMESA region.

Throughout the meeting, 140 delegates representing government, civil society, private sector, parliament, as well as gender and youth organizations will share insights, best practices and solutions on key regional integration objectives, including the promotion of an attractive business climate; trade facilitation and improved public financial management; and the mainstreaming of a managing for development results (MfDR) culture in the COMESA Secretariat and its member states.

The event is organized under the Africa for Results (AfriK4R) Initiative; the flagship program of the African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results, housed within the Quality and Results Department of the Bank, in collaboration with COMESA and with support from EARC. AfriK4R aims at building results capacity and accelerating regional integration through MfDR, and the AfriK4R-COMESA Peer Review Meeting represents the first major regional activity since the COMESA-CoP’s establishment in May 2012.

Live updates from the meeting are available via AfCoP’s Twitter Account. For more information on the AfriK4R initiative and AfCoP, please visit AfCoP’s website: http://www.afrik4r.org
SOURCE African Development Bank (AfDB)

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SA: Education department welcomes budget increase http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-education-department-welcomes-budget-increase/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/27/sa-education-department-welcomes-budget-increase/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:00:34 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28781 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene

By- SAnews.gov.za

The Department of Basic Education has welcomed the increase in the funds allocated to education by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in the 2015 Budget.

“This 8% increase to R276.7 billion in the allocation for education reinforces this government’s commitment to education as its apex priority,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

She said the budget allocation will help the Basic Education Department greatly towards achieving the goals set out in its action plan of improving quality and efficiency across the entire system.

“It will go a long way to improve school infrastructure, the connectivity of schools as we progress towards the idea of the 21st century classroom, continued teacher development as well as improve the supply of learner teacher support material (LTSM) among others,” said Minister Motshekga.

Minister Nene’s budget committed to more than R7 billion over the next three years to replace infrastructure in 510 schools and to provide water to 1 120 schools, sanitation to 741 and electricity to 916 schools.

“We welcome the announcement by Minister Nene that all school building plans will be standardised and the cost of construction will be controlled by the office of the chief procurement officer.

“This has been a concern raised and we are satisfied this measure will go a long way to allay some concerns around the costs of building new schools. It will also promote equality across the system,” said Minister Motshekga.

Minister Motshekga supports Minister Nene’s view that “too often and for too long, we have paid too much for school building projects”.

She said the advancements that are needed in the education system unfortunately carry an enormous financial burden.

The Minister said the continued commitment of all government departments to education as a tipping point towards transformation in all areas of society is evident.

“… This budget makes the education goals outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) an attainable reality,” said Minister Motshekga.

Other measures to be in place for schools over three years include:

  • printing and distributing 170 million workbooks at 23 562 schools;
  • each pupil in Grades R to 9 will receive two books per subject each year in key subjects;
  • R4.1 billion to build and support public libraries; and
  • R1.1 billion for broadband connectivity in government institutions and schools.

Minister Nene also supported the central procurement of LTSM and mentioned that in a bid to tighten up financial management and prevent corruption, all books delivered to schools next year will be managed through a centrally negotiated contract.

The department further said the number of qualified teachers entering the public service is set to increase to 10 200 by 2017/18, up from 7 227 in 2012/13.

“To support teacher training, R3.1 billion will be awarded in Funza Lushaka bursary schemes over the next three years,” the department said.

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SA, Switzerland recommit to strengthen relations http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/sa-switzerland-recommit-to-strengthen-relations/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/sa-switzerland-recommit-to-strengthen-relations/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:34:48 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28769 .

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By- SAnews.gov.za – More Matshediso

Pretoria – South Africa and Switzerland have recommitted to strengthen relations, with much focus on vocational training and skills development, says International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers.

Deputy Minister Landers was speaking on Tuesday following the 6th South African-Switzerland High Level Consultations (HLC), which he co-chaired with his Swiss counterpart, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yves Rossier.

The Deputy Minister said the commitment will see the two countries intensifying cooperation at different levels.
He said they both acknowledged the good trade relations the two countries have and the positive impact this has on job creation. They also recognise the importance of increasing South Africa’s exports to Switzerland.

“Together with my colleague, we have also exchanged views on the development of Africa, with specific reference to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan.

“We further affirmed our wish for peaceful solutions of conflict ridden areas like Syria and Ukraine, and hope that normality will prevail for the people of these countries to enjoy a better life,” he said.

Deputy Minister Landers said he also exchanged views with Rossier on the scourge of terrorism and its implications.
“We have exchanged views on … the reform of transformation of the UN and other related issues of the reform of the UN Security Council. I have no doubt that these relations between South Africa and Switzerland will grow from strength to strength,” said the Deputy Minister.

Rossier said his country’s relations with South Africa are very important, as South Africa has a strong voice in the multilateral diplomacy realm.

“We share many ideals and values… South Africa can also help us when we try to find our way in engagements with Somalia, Burundi, DRC and other countries in Central Africa. I am eager to have more meetings of mutual interest,” said Rossier.

The 6th session took place within the context of solid structured bilateral relations between the two countries and the commitment to enhance the North-South dialogue.

The HLC comprises committees such as the Foreign Affairs Working Group, Human Rights Dialogue Sub-Committee, Joint Economic Commission, Development Cooperation and Financial Matters Working Group and the Science and Technology, Energy, Education Skills Development and Vocational Training Working Group.

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Microsoft Nigeria sends four teachers to Microsoft in Education Global Forum http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/microsoft-nigeria-sends-four-teachers-to-microsoft-in-education-global-forum/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/microsoft-nigeria-sends-four-teachers-to-microsoft-in-education-global-forum/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:30:08 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28776 .

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In a clear message of Microsoft’s strong engagement and support to the MEA (Middle-East and Africa region), Dubai is hosting the two day Microsoft in Education Global Forum on the 22nd and 23rd February at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai. The forum will gather Education stakeholders to discuss Education Transformations in relation to workforce and as an enabler for competitiveness and Economic growth.

It will also focus on innovative practices using technologies that can help drive rich learning experiences and highlight the achievements of teachers and schools from around the Middle East and Africa, as well as India, who are successfully using technology to engage their students and prepare them for the future.

Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft, who will deliver the opening keynote said,” The Global Forum in Dubai is an opportunity for education professionals to discuss how technology can address key challenges in education for the 21st century. The forum will explore the transformation of education, considering the roles of industry trends such as mobility, cloud, access and learning analytics in solving key challenges”
“There has been a rise in youth unemployment globally and to tackle that problem head-on, Microsoft programs like YouthSpark work with governments and NGO’s globally to empower young people to do more and achieve more by expanding their access to Computer Science education.

Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf said “Microsoft continues to advocate for the integration of technology into the education system and has partnered with the UAE and other governments in the Middle East and Africa region to equip schools, teachers and students with smart learning solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8 devices equipped with education apps. The Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Dubai provides a platform for sharing ideas on how to make technology accessible for all students and teachers in the region. It is no doubt that technology has transformed learning experiences forever, and at Microsoft, we remain committed to helping educators leverage technology to equip students with the skills they need to prepare learners for work and life.”

The event will be attended by more than 450 education leaders, school leaders and teachers from the Microsoft Innovative Educators program, and leading Showcase Schools from over 35 countries, in addition to 15 of the top global and regional Education technology partners. The Four teachers attending the Forum from Nigeria are: Veranique Obiakor of Government Secondary School Kubwa, Abuja, Nwakaego Justina Chukwu of Government Secondary School Tudun Wada, Abuja, Sanyaolu Stephen Oyelola of Government Secondary School Wuse, Abuja, and Olalekan Adeeko of Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta.

It will also feature a vibrant speaker program, which includes elites from UAE Ministry of Education, leading education figures and Microsoft executives. Key discussions over the two days include the latest innovations in teaching and learning, and how technology can be used to solve education challenges around the world and in the MEA region.

The Microsoft in Education Global Forum is a flagship event for Microsoft, and it provides an opportunity for education stakeholders to collaborate, and discuss needed change in their own countries, schools and communities, providing real impact for better learning outcomes, and prepare learners for work and life.

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IBM and Tech Mahindra Join Hands to Accelerate Global Hybrid Cloud Adoption http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/ibm-and-tech-mahindra-join-hands-to-accelerate-global-hybrid-cloud-adoption/ http://africanbrains.net/2015/02/26/ibm-and-tech-mahindra-join-hands-to-accelerate-global-hybrid-cloud-adoption/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:30:51 +0000 http://africanbrains.net/?p=28772 .

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Tech Mahindra to train 5,000 developers on Bluemix, IBM’s Digital Innovation Platform

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has signed a strategic teaming agreement with Tech Mahindra, a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering with $3.5 billion in revenue and over 670 clients across 51 countries.

IBM will work with Tech Mahindra to build a platform for the development of cloud-based apps for its clients on Bluemix Dedicated, a single-tenant version of Bluemix. Bluemix runs on SoftLayer cloud infrastructure and combines the strength of IBM’s middleware software with tools from IBM’s partner ecosystem to offer DevOps in the cloud. With access to services and APIs from across the tech industry – including tools in categories such as Watson, open source and third-party tools including services for social, mobile, security and the Internet of Things – Bluemix helps developers speed application deployment from months to minutes.

Through this alliance, IBM will provide an open, flexible cloud environment to enable Tech Mahindra’s developers to build cloud-native and cloud enabled applications with a scalable model. Tech Mahindra will train 5,000 of its own developers on how to build advanced apps on Bluemix for the hybrid cloud, a combination of public, private and on premise environments that link systems of record such as core banking and accounting systems with systems of engagement, such as mobile, situational and social apps.

The engagement will help Tech Mahindra build a skilled workforce who can work on services across a wide range of services including Cloud Migration Services, DevOps and Internet of Things. Tech Mahindra will now be able to develop applications for predictive analytics and that also draw on data from the Internet of Things (IoT) for clients in the automotive and manufacturing industry.

“Many of our clients are increasingly looking to tap into the power of the cloud for its benefits in fostering greater efficiency, innovation, speed and collaboration,” said Raju Wadalkar, CTO(Communications Group), Tech Mahindra. “However, a large number of these companies are taking cautious steps towards cloud adoption due to performance, security, data sovereignty and other concerns. The hybrid approach of IBM Cloud and Bluemix will help us to bridge this gap, giving our clients greater flexibility and control of their data as they design and adopt cloud strategies.”
Bluemix Dedicated runs on private, dedicated servers and hardware in an organization’s preferred IBM cloud center – a network which span over 40 regions across the globe. This approach will not only allows Tech Mahindra to consistently achieve high network performance but will also enable its developers to build and deliver cloud-based solutions to their customer base while maintaining maximum control over where client data resides.

“Developers today are the kingmakers of the cloud,” said Mukul Mathur, Vice President, Global Business Partners and CSI, IBM. “Over the next five years, the number of worldwide developers is expected to grow exponentially, and they must be equipped with the right tools to build the cloud-based apps that different industries and companies will be demanding. Our relationship with Tech Mahindra and its 5,000 developers is a significant step in this direction, as we help to train innovators globally for the era of hybrid cloud.”

Tech Mahindra Harnesses IBM Cloud to Bring DevOps, IoT to Indian and Global Clients

Tech Mahindra will primarily focus on tapping the growing roster of services and tools on Bluemix to develop apps in the areas of DevOps and the Internet of Things (IoT). DevOps – or the integration of development and operations – is a lean and agile approach to product development, helping transform companies to bring new innovations to market at accelerated speeds. Bluemix’s cloud-based tools, such as DevOps Innovation Services, will help Tech Mahindra’s clients address the challenge of scaling DevOps throughout their entire business – identifying bottlenecks and helping craft road maps to successfully execute DevOps across business teams and silos.

Bluemix’s digital IoT tools will serve to enable Tech Mahindra to help change the landscape of the IoT, allowing the company to build IoT apps for its clients in minutes. The service, or the IBM Internet of Things Foundation, allows a developer to quickly and easily extend a connected device (such as a smartphone, tablet or wearable band) into the cloud, in turn allowing the device data to be collected and sent in real-time back into the developer’s business.

For example, Tech Mahindra will develop a ‘Predictive Maintenance Manufacturing Solution’ on Bluemix that works as a centralized solution for proactive maintenance of machines, optimizing machine usage with analytics.

Integration of the solution with Bluemix enables manufacturing sites to tap into the data from machine sensors, build a solution that monitors performance and predict machine failure and maintenance requirements. The solution aims to improve reliability and up-time, detect failure patterns early, improve safety, and reduce unplanned outages and costs.

IBM’s Continued Commitment to Cloud Developers

Following IBM’s $1.2 billion announcement in January of 2014 to expand its global footprint of SoftLayer cloud centers, the company also announced it would invest $1 billion into its Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service to help usher developers into the era of hybrid cloud. Bluemix now offers developers instant access to more than 75 services and runtimes to build better apps on the cloud, faster.

IBM has also invested significantly in building out its cloud and developer ecosystem, announcing its Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups; the expansion of its Bluemix Garage network into San Francisco and London; a partnership with the city of New York to build the world’s first online platform for local startups; as well as integrating scores of partner services and tools onto Bluemix and in the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

The alliance between IBM and Tech Mahindra signifies the latest step in the expansion of IBM’s developer ecosystem, as well as adds to its landmark partnerships with leading technology companies around the world (such as SAP, Microsoft and TenCent) to further grow and embed its global cloud footprint.

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