IBM & Airtel Partner To Foster Mobile Innovation In Africa

As part of IBM and Airtel’s pan African partnership in the country, the two companies have introduced to the student and business sectors in Ghana an initiative to drive innovation in mobile technology in Ghana as one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.

The two companies opened a New Mobile Center of Excellent at the university of Ghana, Legon and organized a competition for all Ghanaian university student to encourage the development of new mobile solution and lay the foundations for start-up enterprises in the country as the first facility of its kind in West Africa.

The New mobile Center of Excellence will provide students at the University of Ghana with access to cutting edge mobile technologies in order to foster an innovative ecosystem in academic institution.

Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Philip Sowah in an address, said the company was proud to partner with IBM to drive mobile innovation across Africa.

He expressed the company’s heartfelt by the level of talent and dynamism amongst it, since they can play a vital role in developing the mobile technologies and businesses of the future.

He said in most recent GSM Association Report, Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world, and is the biggest after Asia.

The Number of subscribers he said on the continent and has grown almost 20% year after year for the past five years reaching over 700million subscribers at the end of 2012.

Mr. Sowah stated that Africa over the years has been known for its quick adoption of new services using advanced mobile phone technologies, including mobile money transfer services like Airtel Money and HD Voice services which Airtel is currently rolling out across Africa.

Country General Manager of IBM, Joe Mensah, said Africa is gaining a reputation for innovation in mobile technology with a number of applications and startups coming under the globe spotlight.

“For this momentum to continue, it is essential to foster the culture of innovation in Africa academia and build the skills and experience required for the development of commercially viable businesses in future,” the IBM Ghana Boss stated.

He said the mobile innovation competition was launched with the university of Ghana, Legon last year and has been extended to the students of Ashesi University and the University of Cape Coast.

He said last year, an application dubbed ‘Check it’ that allows mobile phone users take a photo of goods and send them to a standards body for verification, was developed by a third year computer science student, Divine Pulplampu.

During the competition, all university participants took part; meanwhile students at the University of Ghana emerged as winner by presenting a wonderful project by the group SOLAJ.

Awards like products from Airtel Ghana were given to them including modems, Nokia phones from Rlg on a one year network for free.