The Financial: IBM Helps Develop Future IT and Business Professionals in Ghana
The FINANCIAL -- The IBM (NYSE: IBM) Corporate Service Corps is collaborating with the Ghana Multimedia Incubator Center (GMIC) -- part of the Ghanaian Ministry of Communications -- the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to drive business growth in Ghana.
IBM is helping the organizations launch the country’s first Pre-incubation Center for business development and offering workshops to prepare students and women entrepreneurs for careers in technology and business. The Pre- incubation Center is a testing ground for new business ideas involving collaboration technology.
"Together, IBM, GMIC, KNUST and UNDP are driving business growth in Ghana," said Prof. Dr. K. Dontwi, dean faculty of science, KNUST. "We are nurturing future generations of business owners in Ghana, making sure they have the skills needed to succeed by providing support when it matters the most, at the beginning."
According to IBM, the commercially viable ideas will be refined and the students will receive specialized business training to develop the concept. Upon graduation, the selected projects will move to the three-year incubation program at GMIC. During this program they will receive funding and support from GMIC, the Government of Ghana and the UNDP to launch the product or business.
As Ghana continues to develop its IT infrastructure, the demand for qualified technology professionals is growing. To help students and faculty prepare for these opportunities, IBM is providing a series of training sessions. The workshops will help students prepare for careers in the technology and business sectors through training on job search skills, interview techniques and resume building.
IBM also hosted a special workshop for female faculty and students. IBM Corporate Service Corps participants from five different countries shared their experiences on the challenges women face balancing career and family life. A representative from the Ghanaian Ministry of Women and Children discussed the importance of mentoring and several leading Kumasi businesswomen shared their success stories.
In addition to the work with GMIC and KNUST, the IBM Corporate Service Corps is working with the following organizations in Ghana:
Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG) - IBM is working with ATAG to develop the strategic direction of the organization, create and deliver workshops for artisans, producers and exporters and enhance marketing and communication materials.
Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI) - IBM is working with AGI to help re-vitalize the services AGI provides to its Ashanti/BA region members. IBM is also working with AGI to asses the feasibility of establishing an oil seed association and assessing the need for supply chain marketing start up companies in this industry.
National Business Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) - IBM is working with NBSSI to develop a financial skills certification training program for micro and small enterprises in Ghana.
Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) - IBM is working with SMIDO to develop a content framework for Suame Magazine Investment Guide and develop a plan for the implementation of the third phase of the Automatics Training Institute installation at Suame Magazine.
The IBM Corporate Services Corps (CSC) places high-potential IBM employees from different nations and business units into strategically selected countries in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe for one month. The teams partner with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to work on some of the world's toughest societal problems such as global economic opportunity, environmental challenges, and access to educational resources.
In Ghana, IBM is partnered with Citizens Development Corps. Citizens Development Corps (CDC) is a nonprofit international economic development firm with almost twenty years of experience fielding volunteers and managing programs in over fifty countries on four continents. CDC is also currently managing the CSC program in Romania and Tanzania.
There have been 19 IBM employees from 11 different countries in Kumasi as part of the IBM Corporate Service Corps. A third team will be stationed in Ghana in the first quarter of 2009.
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