, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 4 – IBM has signed a collaboration agreement with the Tanzanian Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology to help accelerate the adoption of technology as part of Tanzania’s ongoing development and strategy to increase its competitiveness in East Africa.
IBM will work with the Tanzanian Government to help achieve its vision of becoming a hub for trade in the wider East Africa region and to enhance sustainable economic development as outlined in the Tanzania National ICT Policy, which among other things, was initiated to ensure that the country was not left behind in technology.
“This agreement supports the goals of the National ICT Commission to use innovative technologies and approaches to transform our infrastructures, build national data centers, increase cyber-security and invest in IT talent development,” said Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Makame Mbarawa.
“Working with IBM will help to ensure that our initiatives are in line with international standards while positioning us to become competitive regionally and internationally,” he added.
Chief Technology Officer Mark Dean announced that IBM and the Government of Tanzania will co-operate to support the country’s National ICT agenda developing simplified and more effective social and administrative systems for e-Government, e-Health and e-Education among other areas.
“IBM is a long-standing partner to the Tanzanian government and we are committed to supporting the country’s economic growth and technical advancement,” he said.
“A key part of our strategy in Africa is to build skills and a culture of innovation across the continent,” he emphasised.
One of the focus areas of the agreement will be the port of Dar es Salaam, which is the main point for Tanzania’s imports and exports.
The port also serves the neighboring landlocked countries of Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By working with IBM, the Tanzanian government will explore the use of innovative technologies and approaches to help the port to operate more efficiently, transform revenue collection processes and strengthen regional trade links.
The agreement underscores IBM’s commitment to Africa and builds on a similar agreement signed in March 2010 between IBM and the Tanzania Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to support the adoption of IT in the areas of education, research and development.
Significant progress has been made since that earlier agreement, including the provision of international guest lecturers, three academic awards, the donation of 37,000 technical reference books and journals to the University of Dodoma and the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, as well as international co-operation with Tanzanian academics.
IBM has also been actively engaged in Tanzania through its Corporate Service Corps program.
Since 2009, 88 talented emerging leaders from more than 25 different countries have worked on one month assignments to Tanzania in projects aimed at social and economic development.
Through this program IBM has dedicated over 10,000 hours of pro bono information technology and business consulting to Tanzania.
Beneficiaries of IBM’s citizenship work in Tanzania include the Tanzania Traffic Police; Tanzania Library Services; Tanzania Postal Corporation; the Tanzania Education and Research Network; the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency; the University of Dodoma, the Africa Wildlife Foundation; the Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators and the Arusha Institute of Accountancy.
In June 2011, IBM opened a subsidiary office in Dar es Salaam as part a broad program of investment in Africa covering the creation of new facilities, offices, training, staffing and recruitment, skills development, sales & marketing and corporate citizenship.
IBM has a direct presence in over 20 African countries including South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Angola, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.