IBM has partnered with a number of Kenyan universities to help them “breed the next crop” of qualified IT professionals.
Among the partnering institutions include the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Riara University and Strathmore University, which according to IBM will have access to the latest enterprise software and systems for no charge.
The partnership is part of IBM’s Academic Initiative that seeks to help colleges in various countries close the IT skills gap in areas such as cyber security, big data, commerce and mobile computing.
“Working with universities is a way to speed up the skills development required for the next generation of experts that companies such as IBM and other international and local enterprises need to enhance and grow the IT sector in Kenya,” Tony Mwai, IBM general manager for East Africa said. “Curriculum development and collaborative research reach a much wider student population.”
Dr George Njenga, deputy vice-chancellor and dean for research at Strathmore University said: “This partnership aspires to aid in the development of the relevant skills in the classroom that will rapidly accelerate learning and keep students and scholars at par with the fast-paced growth of the world IT market.”
Last year, IBM set up an international research hub at the Catholic University.
“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’s vice president said.