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Primeur weekly 2017-02-13

Focus

Funding agencies and academia need to rethink reward structure for computational tool developers to tackle big scientific challenges ...

OpenAire to support more technical e-Infrastructures with Open Research Data guidelines, publication and training ...

Exascale supercomputing

ISC High Performance keynote forecasts future role of HPC in weather and climage prediction ...

Crowd computing

Towards equal access to digital coins ...

Quantum computing

Large groups of photons on demand - an equivalent of photonic 'integrated circuit' ...

Protecting quantum computing networks against hacking threats ...

Sorting machine for atoms ...

Focus on Europe

HPC-Europa3 provides access to European HPC systems ...

Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University is first university to introduce computational computer code for Airbus ...

Middleware

Introducing Hazelcast Jet: a new lightweight, distributed data processing engine ...

Bright Computing announces strategic alliance with Curtiss-Wright ...

Hardware

NVIDIA powers new class of supercomputing workstations with breakthrough capabilities for design and engineering ...

Van Andel research institute optimises HPC pipeline to drive research discoveries and new drug therapies with end-to-end DDN solution ...

CoolIT Systems issued U.S. patent for modular heat-transfer solutions ...

ORNL researchers break data transfer efficiency record ...

Cray reports 2016 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

Supermicro deploys 30,000+ MicroBlade servers to enable one of the world's highest Efficiency (1.06 PUE) data centres ...

Mellanox ships more than 100,000 cables for next generation 100 Gb/s networks ...

UMass Amherst boosts deep learning research with powerful new GPU cluster ...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory enhances data integrity and accessibility with Active Archive Solutions ...

Applications

ANSYS spurs pervasive engineering simulation with release 18 ...

Computing sciences students: Get your team together for the SC17 Student Cluster Competition in Denver ...

Latest Allinea update advances code optimization across platforms ...

Con Edison selects C3 IoT for Big Data and predictive analytics platform and applications ...

New algorithms may revolutionize drug discoveries - and our understanding of life ...

When data's deep, dark places need to be illuminated ...

Computer trained to predict which AML patients will go into remission and which will relapse ...

The Cloud

Cycle Computing collaborates with ANSYS on its Enterprise Cloud HPC offering ...

IBM launches "Digital - Nation Africa" and invests $70 million to bring digital skills to Africa with free, Watson-powered skills platform for 25 million people ...

IBM launches "Digital - Nation Africa" and invests $70 million to bring digital skills to Africa with free, Watson-powered skills platform for 25 million people

8 Feb 2017 Johannesburg, Armonk - IBM is investing $70 million - approximately ZAR 945 million - in building much-needed digital, Cloud, and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st century workforce in Africa. The initiative, "IBM Digital - Nation Africa", provides a cloud-based learning platform designed to provide free skills development programmes for up to 25 million African youths over five years, enabling digital competence and nurturing innovation in Africa.

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.

For the youth of Africa to be able to benefit from a cognitive future there needs to be a much higher level of digital literacy. At the top of the skills pyramid are developers, who need to know how to create solutions that can leverage the power of cognitive, and entrepreneurs who are aware of the potential. 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 programmes from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills including social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection.

Advanced users will be able to explore career-oriented IT topics including programming, cybersecurity, data science and agile methodologies, as well as important business skills like critical thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The initiative aims to empower African citizens, entrepreneurs, and communities with the knowledge and tools to design, develop, and launch their own digital solutions.

Based on Watson, the cognitive online system will adapt and learn. It will review the multiple interactions the education initiative will have with students, to help direct them to the right courses and help IBM refine the courses to better adapt the material for the needs of the users. Watson will also create a depth of knowledge using anonymous information gathered from interactions with the students. This will help entrepreneurs and developers understand which current Bluemix solutions best meet their needs and refine their idea to help them design a solution that has greatest market potential.

With the aim of equipping as many as 25 million people with sought after IT skills over the next five years, the programme 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.

Africa has approximately 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. By 2040, the continent is expected to be home to the world's largest labour force, with an estimated working age population of 1 billion ( State of Education in Africa Report 2015 ). Yet many African companies cite a local skills gap as one of the major bottlenecks to growth. In South Africa alone, where more than a quarter of the workforce is unemployed, businesses struggle to find appropriate skills, particularly in the IT field.

"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", stated Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa. "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."

The initiative will provide access to thousands of resources, in English, free of charge, including:

  • Ready-to-use mobile apps
  • Guides: web guides, demonstrations, interactive simulations, video series, and articles
  • Online Assessments: A range of self-assessment tests to track the progress of individuals, together with industry recognized 'Open Badges' aligned to digital competencies. The badges can then be shared with prospective employers
  • Volunteers: Creation of a volunteer programme to support and promote digital literacy within their communities
  • App Marketplace: Provision of a platform on which new applications can either be made freely available or sold.

The initiative will be supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has a special focus on fostering market-driven ICT skills in Africa and the Middle East. IBM will collaborate with UNDP on opportunities for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills delivery, certification, and accreditation. UNDP will work with their network of existing government partnerships to extend the programme throughout Africa.

UNDP's 2015 Human Development Report highlighted that technology is affecting the nature of work by introducing new ways of communicating, new products and new demands for skills. New technologies are also reinforcing and deepening previous trends in economic globalization, bringing workers and businesses into a global network through outsourcing and global value chains.

"These processes are reshaping work and testing national and international policies. In an attempt to address this global challenge here in South Africa, as well as in other priority countries in Africa. UNDP is pleased to leverage its global presence, development knowledge, and long standing partnerships to provide context, traction and scale to this collaboration with IBM", stated Mr. Walid Badawi, UNDP Country Director in South Africa.

IBM has a direct presence in 24 African countries and has made several significant investments on the continent in recent years, including offices, innovation centers and other advanced facilities. The company has a research laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya and opened a second research facility in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016.

In 2015, IBM rolled out a major initiative to expand its Africa Technical Academy and Africa University Programme, providing advanced skills in Cloud, analytics, and Big Data technologies, reaching today to over 150 academic institutions, in the continent. In September 2016, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training and IBM Morocco, for the launch of P-TECH programme (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) in Morocco. P-tech is an innovative global education model, designed by IBM, in close partnership with American educators. The company is also working with dozens of start-ups in South Africa.

IBM has been present in Africa since the 1920's, and has a long history of collaborating with educational institutions and providing transformational solutions focused on providing value to higher education and its contribution to society.

IBM engages with communities around the globe by offering its technology, services, and expertise to solve some of the world's most complex problems, applying technology and expertise to societal issues such as education development.
Source: IBM

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-02-13

Focus

Funding agencies and academia need to rethink reward structure for computational tool developers to tackle big scientific challenges ...

OpenAire to support more technical e-Infrastructures with Open Research Data guidelines, publication and training ...

Exascale supercomputing

ISC High Performance keynote forecasts future role of HPC in weather and climage prediction ...

Crowd computing

Towards equal access to digital coins ...

Quantum computing

Large groups of photons on demand - an equivalent of photonic 'integrated circuit' ...

Protecting quantum computing networks against hacking threats ...

Sorting machine for atoms ...

Focus on Europe

HPC-Europa3 provides access to European HPC systems ...

Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University is first university to introduce computational computer code for Airbus ...

Middleware

Introducing Hazelcast Jet: a new lightweight, distributed data processing engine ...

Bright Computing announces strategic alliance with Curtiss-Wright ...

Hardware

NVIDIA powers new class of supercomputing workstations with breakthrough capabilities for design and engineering ...

Van Andel research institute optimises HPC pipeline to drive research discoveries and new drug therapies with end-to-end DDN solution ...

CoolIT Systems issued U.S. patent for modular heat-transfer solutions ...

ORNL researchers break data transfer efficiency record ...

Cray reports 2016 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

Supermicro deploys 30,000+ MicroBlade servers to enable one of the world's highest Efficiency (1.06 PUE) data centres ...

Mellanox ships more than 100,000 cables for next generation 100 Gb/s networks ...

UMass Amherst boosts deep learning research with powerful new GPU cluster ...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory enhances data integrity and accessibility with Active Archive Solutions ...

Applications

ANSYS spurs pervasive engineering simulation with release 18 ...

Computing sciences students: Get your team together for the SC17 Student Cluster Competition in Denver ...

Latest Allinea update advances code optimization across platforms ...

Con Edison selects C3 IoT for Big Data and predictive analytics platform and applications ...

New algorithms may revolutionize drug discoveries - and our understanding of life ...

When data's deep, dark places need to be illuminated ...

Computer trained to predict which AML patients will go into remission and which will relapse ...

The Cloud

Cycle Computing collaborates with ANSYS on its Enterprise Cloud HPC offering ...

IBM launches "Digital - Nation Africa" and invests $70 million to bring digital skills to Africa with free, Watson-powered skills platform for 25 million people ...