Nairobi — IBM, the global technology firm, said the research laboratory it will open later on Monday would help alleviate some of the societal and economic challenges the country faces.
According to officials, the lab, the first such facility the company would launch in the continent, would help develop and deploy innovative information technology applications to tackle perennial challenges such as water and sanitation, energy, public procurement inefficiencies and traffic jams.
The lab will focus on three major areas that include ICT skills training, urban development and planning, and lastly, digitalization of public service through e-governance solutions.
“We will use cognitive computing systems to analyze and process data to help people make decisions and come up with commercially viable solutions for Africa's challenges,” said Kamal Bhattacharya, Director at IBM research-Africa.
Kenya becomes the 12th country to have the IBM research lab facility. The facility is part of a global rollout of such facilities. It increases the East African country's IT profile. The country's M-Pesa mobile money transfer innovation has gained prominence all over the world.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has also made public statements that expressed his government's commitment to make ICT a development tool.
The government has established Konza City, a technology-driven town intended to attract investors from all over the world and make the country a technological hub.
President Kenyatta has also pledged to provide lower primary school-going kids with laptops in a move intended that ensure that ICT-compliance starts at the basic educational level.
It is believed such commitments have informed IBM's decision to launch the research lab in Nairobi. - CAJ News