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April 09, 2010

IBM To Collaborate With Tanzanian Government in the Sectors of Education and Vocational Training

IT infrastructure can make big difference in overcoming the challenges that developing nations face in today's world.

The Tanzanian government has taken a big leap forward in signing a collaboration deal with IBM. The agreement was signed between IBM (News - Alert) and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT). According to this tie up, IBM is going to extend support to the Tanzanian government for the adoption of information technologies and Tanzania's development in key areas such as education and R&D.

The agreement between IBM and MOEVT is going to boost up the nation's ongoing development process in many ways. The collaboration will help realize the Tanzanian Government's vision of building a "Silicon Valley" type environment around the University of Dodoma.

The agreement was signed in March by IBM and Prof. Hamisi O. Dihenga, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

As part of the agreement, IBM will facilitate collaboration with U.S. universities on research projects in the area of smarter cities, cloud computing and business analytics.

The agreement also requires IBM to support the ministry in developing and implementing better access to technology and educational resources for Tanzanian universities and secondary schools, especially in remote areas of the country.

All these are expected to create a positive impact on the country's educational scenario. Additionally, the agreement is also expected to enhance the country's information technology environment. The agreement is definitely going to give a boost to local economy by fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.

"This agreement underscores IBM's commitment to Tanzania and the importance of information technology in the development of the country.  By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, the Tanzanian government has a real opportunity to develop in key areas such as education and R&D, which can play a key role in increasing Tanzania's competitiveness in a global economy," Anthony Mwai, Country General Manager, IBM East Africa, observed.

IBM's past initiatives in Tanzania proved to be highly successful.

Over the the past 18 months, through its Corporate Service Corps program, IBM has assigned 58 of its most talented emerging leaders from more than 20 different countries on one month assignments in Tanzania.  In this program, IBM has dedicated over 10,000 hours of pro bono information technology and business consulting to the University of Dodoma, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators and Institute of Accountancy. All of their work has been connected with economic growth and job creation.

In December last year, IBM announced it was working with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Vodafone (News - Alert), Novartis and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to use information and communication technologies to improve the availability of anti-malarial drugs in remote areas of Tanzania. Called "SMS for Life," the pilot initiative used a combination of mobile phones, SMS technologies and intuitive web sites to track and manage the supply of anti-malarial drugs.

Just like its past initiatives, IBM is expected to deliver excellent result this time as well. Much depends on the successful implementation of the agreement as this can mean life changing experience for the thousands of students in this East African country.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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