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IBM and University of Ghana Sign Collaboration Agreement to Support Skills Development and IT Growth


Accra, Ghana - 30 Jun 2011: The University of Ghana and IBM have signed a collaboration agreement to foster new entrepreneurial approaches to education and R&D and to support the adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing and business analytics.

“This agreement underscores IBM’s commitment to Ghana and the importance of information technology in the development of the country,” said Joe Mensah, Country General Manager, IBM Ghana.  “By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, the University of Ghana has a real opportunity to develop in key areas such as education and R&D which can play a key role in increasing Ghana's competitiveness in a global economy.” 

The agreement was signed today at the university’s campus by Dr. Mark Dean, Vice President and IBM Fellow and Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana. 

As part of the agreement, the two parties will work together and share insights and experiences in areas of mutual interest. For example, one of the first areas for collaboration will be the establishment and development of educational programmes and curricula to strengthen skills in information technology and improve access to education especially in remote areas of the country. 

IBM will also provide its technology experts to the university to assist with guest lectures and the roll out of technical courses. As part of IBM’s centennial celebration in Ghana, IBM hosted a lecture by Dr. Mark Dean about the use of information technologies to improve the management of natural resources. The lecture was designed to help strengthen Ghana’s ability to effectively manage its recently exploited oil and gas resources. 

 “Ghana has a long history in mining and agriculture and has recently discovered oil and gas on its shores.  IBM's Smart Solutions can enable Ghana's industries to optimize their operations and ensure efficient extraction of these valuable resources,” said Dr. Mark Dean, Vice President and IBM Fellow. 

IBM opened a subsidiary office in Ghana in 2010 as part of the company’s geographic expansion initiative across the African continent. In addition to its day-to-day commercial business, IBM has been engaged in capacity building in Ghana through the following key initiatives: 

Corporate Service Corps

Since 2008, through its Corporate Service Corps programme, IBM has assigned 5 teams (47 employees) of employee-volunteers from more than 20 different countries on one-month assignments in Takoradi and Kumasi. The teams of some of IBM’s top performers have worked on projects aimed at narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban areas and accelerating the adoption of Information and Communication Technology in the country. For example, earlier this year IBM’s consultants worked on a pro bono basis with the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Tema Technical Institute and the SOS Children's Village. The projects were tailored to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the three institutions by utilising the latest technologies and business processes. 

Global Collaboration

From August to October, 2010 two students from Ashesi University participated in an IBM student project called “Smarter Global Collaboration”.  The project involved establishing a virtual team of four university students from Ghana and Germany. The goal of the team was to identify key factors and process steps that influence the success of transnational collaboration in mature and growth markets.  

Faculty Support

In late 2010, Ghana Telecom University College received an Open Collaborative Research

(OCR) Award. The financial award supports strategically important, highly-collaborative research projects between IBM and leading universities across a wide range of areas within computer science, engineering, mathematics and other disciplines where open collaboration can accelerate innovation. 

For more information on IBM in Africa, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/34710.wss

Contact(s) information

George Enema
External Relations Leader, West Africa
+234-1-9500996
george@ng.ibm.com

Jonathan Batty
IBM Growth Markets Unit External Relations
+48 693935403
jonathan.batty@pl.ibm.com

Vera Oloo Rosauer
BM External Relations Leader for Sub-Saharan Africa
+254-710-537-030
veraros@ke.ibm.com

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