IBM set to open research lab in Nairobi by end-year

Global technology conglomerate IBM is in the final stages of opening an Information Technology Research lab in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

In reference to this, the Kenyan President and IBM Global Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty will today sign a memorandum of understanding to establish the research lab formally.

“IBM Research works to find new ways to solve the most complex problems facing the world at present – working on projects that leverage cutting edge technology to help resolve the world’s challenges,” said a communication from IBM Communication Office.

It is said that the lab will be the first of its kind in Africa, with this being IBM’s first on the continent (and the 12th globally), aimed at assist in applied Information Technology research will focus on solving problems relevant to Africa in agriculture, traffic congestion and automating governance.

“We have an elaborate strategy for Africa during this year; it includes increasing our investments in the region. We are coming up with the research lab in Nairobi to take care of software development which is also an area IBM is looking for its growth,” Steve Mills, the IBM Software Group Vice President told The Standard Newspaper.

He added that with the many investments going on in Kenya in terms of IT, it is part of IBM’s strategy to nurture these through a research and development centre. He also said that IBM was ready to acquire companies successful in building great software for the devices to improve cities across the world.

Nairobi is among four African cities to be awarded an IBM ‘Smarter Cities’ grant worth at an estimated US$400,000. Under this 2012 programme, experts use the available data to assist the government in traffic and disaster management.

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