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IBM to double voluntary staff to Africa

NEW YORK, Sep 21- Technology Company IBM has announced that it will double the number of employees it dispatches to Africa on a pro bono basis.

This will translate to about 600 employees to Africa by 2015 and is part of the company’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program that is aimed at developing IBM leaders.

Through it, the company also helps to provide skilled assistance to local governments and non-government organisations in emerging markets and thus strengthen relationships with these partners.

“The world is discovering Africa’s potential and IBM is uniquely poised to help the region meet its growing demands.  IBM’s Corporate Service Corps program helps lay the groundwork with communities while providing IBM employees with a unique leadership development experience,” said IBM’s General Manager of the Growth Markets Unit Bruno Di Leo.

The Corporate Service Corps is therefore vital to help train their employees on growth market environments and development opportunities, he pointed out.

Since its launch in 2008, nearly 1,400 IBM employees have been dispatched on more than 120 team assignments in 24 countries, including Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, , Nigeria, Poland, Morocco, Tanzania, Vietnam and Kenya.

IBM currently has two Corps teams on the ground in Morogoro, Tanzania working with the country’s postal system and a team in Limpopo, South Africa assisting in the development of an education strategy.

Other IBM Corporate Service Corps teams are due to arrive in Ghana and Kenya in October.

“Given that IBM anticipates 30 percent of its geographic revenue will be tied to emerging markets by 2015, the Corporate Service Corps allows IBM to do well especially in Africa.” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM Foundation.

The expansion of IBM’s commitment to Africa and leadership development was announced at THINK: A Forum on the Future of Leadership, which is an IBM conference to mark the company’s Centennial.

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As part of this commitment, a team from IBM will work on a global health project, the ‘Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon’ initiative, which is aimed at reducing cervical cancer deaths in Africa and Latin America.

The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative is a cause championed by the George W. Bush Institute and its partners – the President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief.

The IBM team will create a business plan for the technology that enables the participating organisations to achieve shared objectives such as treating and preventing cervical cancer and raising breast cancer awareness.

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