IBM has joined the International Black Technology Awareness Campaign to promote the value of technology in black communities. This year's event, named Black Family Technology Awareness Week (BFTAW), will see IBM participate in the campaign for the first time. Dudu Nyamane, IBM SA HR director, says it is highly significant the event has been extended to SA for the first time after six years of operation.

“It couldn't have come at a better time, when BEE is at the centre of our country's economic transformation and it is our ultimate goal to bridge the digital divide,” says Nyamane. As part of IBM's contribution to the campaign, the company hosted 50 students and 135 managers from the Black Management Forum on a tour of its Sandton offices last week.The managers and students were introduced to a variety of technology-oriented careers and to the value of technology in how it is shaping the future.

Several of IBM SA's executives spoke to the students about different technologies as well as their careers, possible achievements and IBM's contribution to building the black community.“The focus was on sharing the miracle of technology, exhibiting exciting products and engaging with people on a personal level,” says Nyamane.

“BFTAW has played a significant role in helping to generate awareness about technology's potential; however, our task is nowhere near complete. To be successful we've got to reach those people who are standing on the sidelines and encourage them to become actively involved in an increasingly technological world.” The 2005 BFTAW campaign will include participants in Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, Toronto, Jamaica, West Indies and numerous cities across the US.