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August 14, 2012
IBM, Kenyan Gov't Open New Research Center in Kenya
By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor
IBM (News - Alert) recently announced it will be collaborating with the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology over the opening up of the first information technology research lab in Nairobi.
According to IBM, the most vital issue facing African cities today pertains to improvement in services such as water and transportation.
The lab, which will be the first of its kind on the African continent, is expected to open within the coming few weeks and will serve to address specific challenges such as traffic congestion relevant to Africa. The facility will also help in automating some sectors of governance.
Bitange Ndemo, information and communication permanent secretary, said contributions from the Kenyan side will be an estimated $2 million annually over a period of five years. Both parties involved will share copyrights for any and all research and development offerings.
"There are several registries, which if we completely automated, our estimate is that we can plough back to the Exchequer up to $10 billion by simply creating efficiency through higher productivity,” said Ndemo.
Although the totally amount of investment was not specified by IBM, the research lab, which will focus on developing relevant technology to enhance delivery of public services, will help in saving the Kenyan Government billions of dollars.
Robert Morris, vice president for services research at IBM, said that the amount will represent a "significant” amount.
Each year, IBM’s investments in research and development initiatives across the globe amount to an impressive $6.5 billion. IBM currently operates nine research labs in various countries; the new research lab in Kenya will be the 10th location.
Across the African continent, IBM is an iconic provider of network support for telecoms firms and commercial banks, among other such institutions.
Edited by Braden Becker
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