IBM makes further expansions in North Africa

Technology giant IBM yesterday announced the expansion of its operations in Morocco following the launch of an expanded location in the capital Rabat.

IBM says the new office is part of its broad program of investment it is making across Africa.

This become’s IBM’s second subsidiary in the country boosting the computer-maker’s Casablanca operations and its capacity to offer IT solutions to the rapidly expanding customer base in North Africa.

In North Africa, IBM boasts of operations in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria offering Global Process Delivery Center in Cairo, Egypt, and additional strategic locations – including a Technology Development Center, Global Service Delivery Center, and Arabic Competence Center in the Egyptian capital.

The geographic expansion strategy, IBM says, fortifies its presence in regions and cities earmarked for considerable opportunities for growth and where governments, aside from businesses, are fast turning to IT to transform operations and bolster competitiveness.

IBM’s general manager Morocco Abdallah Rachidi Alaoui said the company is stressing on investment in the North African country as it recognizes the opportunities presented by high growth rates and the competitive market.

Currently, Morocco is North Africa’s most dynamic economy with a gross domestic product of 4.5 percent, as of 2011.

“By strengthening our presence in Rabat, we are able to offer the most advanced technologies and solutions to our local partners and clients – helping them to do things smarter and more efficiently,” Alaoui said.

“The Moroccan Government recognizes the important role that IBM is playing in the development of IT and establishment of Morocco as a modern IT market. We strongly believe that IBM will continue to support the modernization of our IT sector through its technologies and initiatives, and this office opening marks an important commitment to the Moroccan Kingdom,” said Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Industry, Commerce and New Technologies.

IBM’s move comes after its recent announcement that it would open the IBM – Africa Research laboratory in Kenya and a new office in Mauritius.

The company boasts of a direct presence in over 20 African nations including Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia.

“We have put in place a range of online services, thanks to IBM’s technologies. These services allow citizens and private businesses a significant gain in time and efficiency. Moroccan citizens can pay taxes or income returns online, and a company can clear goods through customs in a simple click,” said Nizar Baraka, Minister of Economy and Finance.

Earlier this year, a team of IBM experts provided Moroccan government leaders with recommendations for the implementation of a more efficient public transport system for Rabat and nearby Sale and Temara by 2020. Rabat beat 140 other cities around the world to become one of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge winners for 2012, according to IBM.

As part of the IBM Smarter Cities challenge grant, a team of top employees were sent to live in Rabat for three weeks to create a plan for an improved public transport system compatible with current government initiatives. Rabat was one of three African cities and 33 cities worldwide selected by IBM to receive Smarter Cities challenge grants.

Reports by IBM indicate it has been serving Moroccan customers since 1932 when it first installed the first equipment at the country’s Statistics Department.

IBM also opened Africa’s first IBM Innovation and Technical Exploration Centers in Casablanca in 2008.

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