Accra, the capital of Ghana has been selected to benefit from IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2012, a press release from IBM copied to says.

IBM named Accra today March 15, 2012 as one of the 32 cities selected worldwide to benefit from the three-year $50 million programme.

IBM says the three-year, 100-city $50 million programme, was launched in 2011. It is IBM’s single-largest philanthropic initiative, funds in-person engagements staffed by teams of top IBM experts, who study and then make detailed recommendations addressing locally important urban issues.

The company says the grant will help Accra identify, prioritize and benchmark the key economic, societal and environmental challenges facing the city.

It indicates that specifically, the grant will enable Accra to streamline its revenue collection channels, leveraging IBM’s expertise in developing smarter systems for emerging cities.

The Smarter Cities Challenge grant comprises of the use of IBM technology alongside a deployment of high-level team of executives who will be assigned to work on capacity building with urban authorities during their stay in Accra, it adds.

The proposed outreach, IBM says will include the deployment of a team of Smarter Cities Challenge experts who are expected to be in Accra later this year.  In addition, the grant covers complimentary use of existing technologies for the duration of the engagement.

According to IBM, the team will officially present their findings and recommendations to senior public officials, including actionable recommendations at the end of the tour.

The Millennium Cities initiative is a project aimed at helping selected cities in sub-Saharan Africa to design effective and viable strategies towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), IBM says, and it is sponsored by IBM’s Corporate Citizenship programme and IBM’s International Foundation.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi/

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