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By Mark Dean
IBM Fellow
Chief Technology Officer, IBM Middle East & Africa

MarkDean-1Africa has arrived at a turning point. Across the continent, national economies are growing at some of the fastest rates in the world. Foreign investment is flooding in, funding roads, communication networks and power grids. Yet another type of infrastructure remains in critically short supply: the scientific and technical skills that will give Africans the opportunity to innovate in the information economy. Creating a large pool of highly skilled knowledge workers is absolutely vital for Africa to fulfill its dreams of long-lasting economic success.

To help bridge the knowledge gap, IBM is seeking partners in government, academia and business to join in launching an initiative aimed at improving education, skills and creativity related to information and communication technologies.

The Skills Development and Research Institutes program, which is just now taking shape, aims to help transform dozens of African universities into engines for innovation and rapid economic growth. The goal is to double the number of bachelor-degree graduates in computer science, information technology and related engineering disciplines; double the output of Ph.D.s in those fields and double the quality of the skills of those graduates.

Read the full essay on UPI.

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