[AfrICANN-discuss] Kenya becomes the first African beneficiary of IBM research lab

Brian Munyao Longwe blongwe at gmail.com
Mon Aug 13 16:24:28 SAST 2012

FYI - sorry for cross-posting... It's just that I am so excited!

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Kukubo <pkukubo at ict.go.ke>
Date: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM
Subject: [Skunkworks] Kenya becomes the first African beneficiary of IBM
research lab
To: ke users <ke-internetusers at bdix.net>, Skunkworks forum <
skunkworks at lists.my.co.ke>

*Press Release*

* *

*Kenya becomes the first African beneficiary of IBM research lab*

*August 13, 2012, Nairobi, Kenya – *The government today announced the
opening of the first IBM research lab in Kenya. This makes Nairobi the
premier location for IBM research in the African continent.**

The lab, a collaboration between Kenya and IBM East Africa, will see the
partners each contribute $10 million dollars (Ksh830 million), over a
period of five years.

Earlier today, President Mwai Kibaki and IBM Global Chief Executive
Officer, Ginni Rometty signed a memorandum of understanding to officially
flag-off the setting up of the lab.

“Kenya vision is to become the top ICT hub in the continent.  IBM’s
commitment to undertake the proposed research agenda will contribute
greatly to our national priorities as part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 agenda,”
said His Excellency Honorable Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya. “We look
forward to delivering world-class research and innovation through the
partnership and playing an important role as an IT leader on the African

It is projected that the lab will not only drive innovation but help market
Kenya as a leading modern services economy. The research agendas will be
defined by both parties and will have a strong emphasis on solving
home-based and African problems.

The project will greatly benefit the momentum already established in
cutting-edge mobile money technology, contribute to the creation of
high-value jobs, and bring significant prestige for Kenya.

“IBM continues to expand its operations in key growth markets and we plan
to lead the way by bringing Africa into our global network of IBM Research
laboratories,” said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president and
director of IBM Research. “We will work closely with leading African
scientists and engineers from academia, government and industry to address
some of their most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities.”

The Ministry of Information and Communications through the Kenya ICT board
will implement the project, which will see Kenyans also gain in knowledge

Speaking on the partnership, PS, Ministry of Information and
Communications, Dr Bitange Ndemo said: "In today’s world, innovation is the
main lever for a competitive national economy, is a source of employment,
and has the potential to improve lives. The IBM research lab, will not only
rubber stamp Kenya as Africa’s leader in ICT, but will help the country to
transform into a knowledge based economy.”

He was speaking at a press briefing held at Kenya ICT Board offices, and
attended by Paul Kukubo, CEO, Kenya ICT Board, Robert Morris, Vice
President, Services Research IBM, Michael Browne, IBM Research, Director of
Technical Strategy, Kumar Bhaskaran and Program Director Technology &
Strategy at IBM Research, Shanghai, China. Others were Mugo Kibati,
Director General Vision 2030, Josphat Karanja, Head of Infrastructure,
Kenya Education Network (KENET), Takreem El-Tohamy, IBM General Manager,
Middle East and Africa and Tony Mwai, Country General Manager for IBM East

The research lab is timely coming on the heels of Konza Techno City
Conference in which the country rallied to attract investors into the
silicon park that will drive Kenya towards achieving middle-income status.

Under the partnership, Kenya will provide the necessary environment, the
physical space, facilitate the lab setting up, while IBM will provide
senior specialists, intellectual property and will operate the Lab as part
of its world-class network of global research labs. Both partners are also
expected to oversee governance structures at the facility jointly.

“The Kenya ICT Board has various projects that will compliment the work of
the IBM lab. These are in software certification, open data, enterprise
incubation and support for public sector digitisation,” Mr Paul Kukubo, the
CEO of Kenya ICT Board, said. “We see IBM as a great partner in advancing
the agenda the board’s transformation of Kenya,” Mr Kukubo added.

The research facility is expected to be operational this September and will
have its base in Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi.

Africa will be the 12th laboratory in the world-wide IBM network of labs,
joining existing labs in Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, India, Ireland,
Israel, Switzerland and the United States, as IBM continues to expand its
research operations in key growth markets.


*Background Information:*

*About Kenya ICT Board*

The Kenya ICT Board was established by HE President Mwai Kibaki, as a state
corporation under the State Corporations Act Cap. 446 on 19th February
2007. The Kenya ICT Board’s mission is to champion and actively enable
Kenya to adopt and exploit ICT, through promotion of partnerships,
investments and infrastructure growth for socio economic enrichment. Its
vision is that Kenya becomes a top ten global ICT hub by 2030.

Capacity building programs are needed to establish a national strategy
to properly address skills and training issues.

Such strategy would need the input, cooperation, and commitment of
many parties. It needs to be led by the industry and involve
partnerships with the government and education and training providers.

* *

* *

*IBM Research* - Africa will join existing labs in Australia, Brazil,
China, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.
IBM Research laboratories are credited with the creation of many of the
foundations of information technology, including the invention of
relational database, disk storage, DRAM memory and much more. IBM Research
has been recognized with 5 Nobel Prizes, and many leading scientific and
technical medals and awards.  Recently IBM Research created a
question-answering supercomputer called Watson that defeated the champions
of a major televised quiz show, showing its ability to match humans in
answering a wide range of free text questions.

*For more information, contact Ms. Phyllis Nyambura, Communications, The
Kenya ICT Board. Tel: 0700 396 433. Email: **pnyambura at ict.go.ke*

Paul Kukubo
Chief Executive Officer, Kenya ICT Board
PO Box 27150 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

12th Floor, Teleposta Towers Koinange Street

Tel +254 20 2089061, +254 20 2211960
Fax: +254 20 2211962
website: www.ict.go.ke
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BPO Project: www. doitinkenya.co.ke
Digital Villages Project: www.pasha.co.ke

personal contacts

Cell: + 254 717 180001

skype: kukubopaul
googletalk: pkukubo
personal blog: www.paulkukubo.co.ke
personal twitter: @pkukubo

Vision: Kenya becomes a top ten global ICT hub

Mission: To champion and actively enable Kenya to adopt and exploit ICT,
through promotion of partnerships, investments and infrastructure growth
for socio economic enrichment

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