Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

IBM Hearts Africa With New Casablanca Development Center

casablancaEvery once in awhile you’ll be reminded that computing and technology giant IBM has long-term interests in investing in Africa.

Today Big Blue announced the creation of what it calls a Gobal Delivery Center in Casablanca, the largest city in the North African nation of Morocco. It will create 400 jobs, the company said.

The idea is to give IBM clients in the region help with application development and to get their various systems working together. Big clients in Morocco include the national government and area universities. It will also create jobs for graduates of those universities.

If you question IBM’s “long view” of working in Africa, consider this: Big Blue first showed up in Morocco in 1932, and last year expanded an existing operation in Rabat.

Last year it opened a major research center in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

The reasoning is simple: Many of the countries on the African continent are getting on their feet and looking for ways to modernize their economies. As you can see from the graph below (courtesy Google, using World Bank data), the gross domestic product of countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are all on the way up. Expect more investments like this as those figures increase. It’s the sort of thing that companies that are more than 100 years old do.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald