IBM Plans Investment Increase in Sub-Saharan Africa

Targets Development of New Markets, Skills Over Next Two Years

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - 04 Dec 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a series of investments in Sub-Saharan Africa that are designed to accelerate development of new markets, enablement of crucial ICT skills and creation of new jobs.

The company, which has operated in Africa for nearly six decades, expects to increase its investment by more than $US120 million (more than R820 million) over the next two years. In the coming year, IBM expects to hire up to 100 students from Sub-Saharan universities to meet the growing demand in services, global delivery and software development.

"The Sub-Saharan African market is poised for double-digit growth flowing from the development and expansion of telecommunications networks, power grids and transport infrastructure," said Mark Harris, Managing Director, IBM South and Central Africa. "Private and public sector investment in the region is transforming the ability of the market to participate in the global economy."

Among IBM's market commitments is the creation of an Africa Innovation Centre that will house the continent's first High Performance On Demand Solutions Lab (HiPODS). Small businesses, entrepreneurs, business partners and other clients will benefit from the lab's advanced software development capabilities as well as access to high-end servers and storage equipment. The African Innovation Centre will also build custom solutions to drive automation, virtualisation and standards into clients' business and IT infrastructures.

The South Africa lab joins a global network of seven specialised IBM facilities, including sites in Brazil, China and India, as well as Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is scheduled to open during the second quarter of next year.

Further, IBM has named senior executive Dr. Robert Mayberry general manager and vice president, emerging markets, Sub-Saharan Africa. Based in Johannesburg, Dr. Mayberry is responsible for designing and executing IBM's strategy for expanding into new markets in the region. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and has extensive experience across various industry sectors and IBM businesses managing strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, software engineering for application development, as well as intelligent devices and wireless networks.

"Africa is an increasingly attractive investment environment for global companies such as IBM," said Dr. Mayberry. "IBM is committed to being part of Africa's economic transformation into a major player in the global market place."

These moves build on other recent investments IBM has made in Sub-Saharan Africa, including:  

In addition to its South African offices, IBM maintains offices in Nigeria and Kenya, and operates in 18 other countries across the continent via business partners.

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