IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced a collaboration agreement with the University of Mauritius to help meet the demand for Computer Science skills in the Indian Ocean island region. The joint academic initiative will provide technology and training resources while boosting support for computer science professionals at the University. In tandem, IBM also launched a Mauritian technical skills training pilot initiative for IT specialists, which will be rolled out to nine other African countries.
As part of the agreement with the University of Mauritius, IBM will provide access to the latest open source and IBM Technology, assisting the University to remain current with cutting edge resources. IBM technical staff will provide guest lectures to students and IBM will also offer research collaboration for University researchers.
Talent development is a key element of IBM’s 2015 road map for sustainable business expansion and making markets within emerging economies.
IBM supports several other universities across Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa, helping to develop graduates with vital business and technology skills.
“This collaboration with IBM provides an excellent opportunity to our students, staff to get acquainted with leading technologies and best practices being used and applied in the industry. They will also benefit from IBM’s innovations and enriching experience. This initiative supports our efforts to train highly skilled computer scientists to meet the pressing need by industry for such skills in the Indian Ocean region,” said Raj Kishen Moloo, Lecturer in Computer Science, University of Mauritius.
As part of its broader program of developing technology skills, IBM also launched an IBM Africa Technical Institute in Mauritius this week. The company is offering education about IBM technologies and how these solutions can help solve some of the challenges facing businesses and the public sector in Africa. Delivered by IBM experts, the sessions are open to academia, IT specialists, business partners and clients.
IBM’s decision to launch the training initiative in Mauritius complements the desire by the island nation to export IT and financial skills into Africa. Mauritius is strengthening the expertise of its workforce in order to support numerous growth opportunities in Mauritius and Africa.
“We are planning to augment ongoing initiatives by the Government of Mauritius to expand and enhance the skills base and talent within its workforce,” said Yusuf Assenjee, IBM Territory Manager, Indian Ocean Islands.
With a robust client base in Mauritius, IBM customers include Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT), Air Mauritius and the International Card Processing Systems (ICPS). All three companies are based in Mauritius with a strong international and pan-African presence. Earlier this year, IBM extended its operation in Mauritius as part of its expansion strategy across Africa.
The Technical Institute will move to other African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mozambique in the next few months. The collaboration with the University of Mauritius and the Technical Institute are part of a broad investment program by IBM across the African continent
“Our investment in talent development and skills is further demonstration of our overall commitment to Africa,” said IBM General Manager for Africa, Jean-Christophe Knoertzer. “Africa is a rich continent in natural resources and commodities but the future lies in exporting services and talent development is one of the keys to success.”
IBM’s commitment to strengthening skills across the continent encompasses the recent cooperative agreement with the Government of Tanzania on research and education. Similar skills development related agreements have been signed in Ghana and Kenya. In June 2012, IBM also launched the LeadAfrica Graduate Program that is providing hands on induction to top 21 graduates from 6 African countries. Africa is also a focus region for IBM’s Corporate Citizen Corps, a corporate version of the US Peace Corps.
IBM is currently present in more than 20 African countries, including Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
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Source: IBM – Press Release – 26 July 2012