International information technology company IBM has opened a special centre in Cape Town to help promote computer skills development and business growth in the country.

The so-called Cape Town Africa Innovation Center, located in Century City north of the Mother City, will provide existing local businesses, start-up companies, independent software vendors, IT professionals and the academic community with training, consultancy services, infrastructure and hands-on assistance to help solve business problems and bring new technologies to market.

The facility is part of a US$120 million two-year market expansion investment by IBM in sub-Saharan Africa, which has already seen the launch of a similar IT centre in Johannesburg.

IBM has a worldwide network of nearly 50 innovation centres, which provided workshops, seminars, consultations and other services to over 22,000 customers in 2008.