IBM has launched an official corporate subsidiary in Accra, the capital of Ghana, as part of its increasing focus on Africa as a destination for its tech, consulting, and business services. The move is preceded by gradual partnerships forged between IBM and local organizations as part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. IBM opened the Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2008 and has had its eye on West Africa for several years.
The news reinforces a growing trend: Africa is the new destination hotspot for innovation hubs, as we touched on in an interview with Erik Hersman, of Ushahidi, recently. And just yesterday, Steve Daniels shared with Fast Company the growing trends among Africa’s diverse informal workers and what innovation looks like across the continent.
While Chile is also trying to create its own innovation hub in the form of an imported Silicon Valley, the situation in West Africa looks slightly different; IBM is tapping into local talent and resources, supporting them, and ultimately partnering with them, rather than bringing in foreign experts in a linear transfer of knowledge process. With Africa’s own native mobile and telecommunications market growing, IBM’s gradual approach may just work for the long-term.