IBM Helps Senegalese City of Thies Plan for Economic Growth
THIES, Senegal, Nov. 16, 2012
THIES, Senegal, Nov.16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --A team of experts from IBM
(NYSE: IBM) presented recommendations to the City of Thies to grow the
economic sector through measures to bolster entrepreneurialism, agricultural
exports, and education.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )
The 14-member IBM team of experts, with members hailing from ten countries,
are completing a month-long engagement as part of IBM's pro bono Corporate
Service Corps program, which provides problem-solving assistance to
educational institutions, small businesses, non governmental organizations
(NGOs), and governmental agencies in emerging markets.Since the launch of
the Corporate Service Corps in 2008, over 2,000 IBM employees based in 50
countries have been dispatched on more than 200 team assignments in 30
countries. This was the program's first project in Senegal.
(IBM also runs a similar pro bono consulting program for more industrialized
cities, such as in the U.S., called the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. Two
days ago, IBM announced 31 cities that will host teams of IBM experts in 2013
as part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program.)
"We are very pleased with IBM's Corporate Service Corps initiative that took
place in Thies aiming to accompany local organizations in the social and
economic development of the region," said Oumy Thiam Sangare, General
Secretary at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Thies. "We
see in this kind of initiative an excellent opportunity for skills transfer
that could boost local development."
In terms of organic farming and fair-trade, the team worked with Agrecol
Afrique to create a strong and consistent national brand that evokes quality
and social responsibility and is designed to spur export of organic foods.
Like much of Africa, farming in Senegal forms the backbone of the economy,
employing more than 60 percent of the population and it accounts for about 19
percent of the country's GDP, according to the Encyclopedia of the Nations. To
manage the timely and efficient movement of products, the IBM team recommended
the use of a customer-focused supply chain model and an information system
that uses cost-effective, secure, and convenient cloud technology.
The team also worked with Options Senegal, an NGO for women and young adults
that fosters entrepreneurial development and support. IBM recommended the
implementation of a mentor program to develop entrepreneurial skills. The
team also suggested the use of a telephone texting application to keep better
track of orders and sales, and reduce transportation costs and delays.
In addition, IBM worked with the National Union of Traders and Industrialists
to help promote local development. The team recommended the use of business
software applications for hosting Web-based electronic commerce, managing
inventory, and supporting client relationships.
Finally, the IBM team worked with the Consulting for Action Association and
the Technical and Vocational Training High School.
"This is the first IBM Corporate Services Team to provide skilled services in
Senegal. Each group has made a valuable contribution towards addressing some
of the key challenges in the country, and this example reinforces
collaboration between US and local companies and organizations," said Mamadou
Ndiaye, IBM Country General Manager for Senegal.
The team was based in Thies, the second biggest city in Senegal after the
capital Dakar. Thies is located at 70 km from Dakar and its economy is mainly
based on agriculture, fishing, mining and industry.
IBM's Corporate Service Corps provides access to sophisticated expertise to
help improve local conditions, enhance government services, and foster job
creation. Team members, who are among IBM's top talent, offer skills in areas
that include information technology, research, marketing, finance, consulting,
human resources and law.
Africa is a significant focus for the initiative. Since 2008, IBM's Corporate
Service Corps has deployed more than 500 IBM employees on 50 teams to South
Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, and Egypt.
Follow IBM's Corporate Service Corps on the CitizenIBM blog at
www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter at @citizenIBM
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