IBM Opens New Africa Innovation Centre in South Africa

Computing

An Africa Innovation Centre has been opened to drive information technology skills development and address business challenges in the economic growth of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The first of its kind on the continent, the new centre is part of IBM $120 million, two-year investment through to 2009 that includes new market expansion initiatives and houses Africa's first cloud computing centre.

The centre will showcase business approaches and open technologies such as cloud computing, Web 2.0 technologies, service-oriented architecture and systems management.

It will also demonstrate next generation banking systems offered at the Banking Centre of Excellence as part of the new innovation centre and environmentally-friendly computing designs.

In cloud computing, dynamically-shared computing resources are virtualised and accessed as a service, making it a particularly attractive proposition for small to large-sized companies in Africa.

IBM is already working with almost 300 software companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The centre will offer access to IBM's global network of 39 IBM Innovation Centres and 60 research and development labs.

In addition to establishing a $15-million IBM Business Continuity and Recovery Services facility last year in Cresta, northwest of Johannesburg, this year, IBM will donate $1.5 million Blue Gene supercomputer to the Meraka Institute.

It will be hosted by the Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town and will be used by a range of stakeholders on the continent for challenging social, economic and environmental issues as well as for skills development.

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