IBM is investing $70 million in building digital, cloud and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st century workforce in Africa. The initiative, “IBM Digital – Nation Africa,” aims to equip 25 million people with IT skills over the next five years.
This is part of IBM’s global push to build the next generation of skills needed for “New Collar” careers. “New Collar” is a term used by IBM to describe new kinds of careers that do not always require a four-year college degree but rather sought-after skills in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, and much more.
“IBM sees effective, high quality IT education as a key driver of economic vitality in Africa. Through access to open standards, best practices, IBM tools, and course materials, the broad scope of this initiative will enable vital skills development”, says Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa.
IBM Digital – Nation Africa is designed to help raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines and enable entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs grow businesses around the new solutions. Through a free, cloud-based online learning environment delivered on IBM Bluemix, the premier cloud platform for business, the initiative will provide a range of programs from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills including social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection.
“In order to find solutions to Africa’s challenges, industries across the spectrum need to enable the existing and future workforce to perform at the forefront of technologies such as cognitive and cloud computing. This will be the key to spurring economic growth”, says Ratshefola.
The program will be launched from IBM’s regional offices in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, and Egypt. This will enable the expansion of the initiative across the continent.