IBM plans to pour more of its technical wisdom into the world’s second largest and second most-populous continent. The multinational tech company has announced it will spend $60 million over three years on expanding its technical training efforts in Africa.
Central to this expansion will be a special partnership between IBM and an online education network in Kenya to provide job market readiness more widely. The Kenya Education Network (KENET) will deliver hands-on certification courses in IBM analytics, Big Data, and cloud technologies to faculty and students without charge at 50 universities.
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The company already has research and innovation facilities in more than 20 African countries and manages a Technical Academy and Africa University Programme that together assist 80 universities with curricula including business analytics, cloud and mobile technology, cyber security, and data management.
The Technical Academy, which launched last year, also offers skills enhancement for technical experts, and has trained more than 1,600 professionals to date.
“IBM has the highest concentration of technical talent on the African continent,” said Dr. Naguib Attia, IBM chief technology officer and vice president, Technical Leadership MEA, in a statement this week. “… We see it as IBM’s responsibility to make a strategic investment in skills development helping to lay the foundation of the Africa of tomorrow.”
He added that several specialists will be added to the academy’s training program and the curriculum stepped up to accommodate the initiative.