IBM to open research lab in Nairobi

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

US-based information technology firm IBM is set to open a research lab in Nairobi in a bid to harvest the region’s human resource talent that is increasingly emerging as a pacesetter in apps development and m-commerce.

This will be the global conglomerate’s first research and invention hub in Africa (and the 12th globally) and is likely to shore up the tech status of Nairobi, which already plays host to innovation hubs such as iHub, Start Up Garage, iLab, mLab, Nailab, Pawa 254 and Nokia Research Centre.

IBM has in the past released reports on Africa’sf traffic jams and has suggested smart ways of tackling the problem. Recently, Kenya was one of four African cities to be awarded an IBM ‘Smarter Cities’ grant, in which experts assist governments to integrate and use available data to improve city management and enhance responses to road traffic and crime management. 

The Smarter Cities initiative will see information on weather, and calamities such as road accidents, fire outbreaks and crime available in a central location.

Under this design, every new information or warning, would be displayed instantly on a common dashboard at the city’s central command and made available to government agencies and private sector players. 

IBM has set its sights on East Africa.

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