As part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant program, a team of five IBM experts hailing from three continents has arrived in Morocco. For the next three weeks, they will help devise a plan for a more efficient and better integrated transportation system in the greater metropolitan area of Rabat, including Sale and Temara.
Rabat bested 140 other cities around the world to become one of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge winners this year. Launched in 2011, the IBM initiative is a three-year, 100-city US$50 million competitive grant program and is IBM’s single-largest philanthropic initiative.
Winning cities get the benefit of some of IBM’s most talented employees who examine critical top priority urban issues such as transportation, health, housing, economic development and public safety. The IBM team then creates a comprehensive plan of creative solutions which they present to the city’s leadership addressing each top priority issue.
Rabat, as the administrative capital of Morocco, hosts all government ministries and embassy headquarters, and has a rapidly growing metropolitan population of 1.8 million people. As a result, Rabat faces increased demand for public transport. As part of the Moroccan National Urban Transport Strategy, transforming the area’s transport system has become a priority to help improve the city’s efficiency and demonstrate the sustainability of urban transport for the rest of the country.
In collaboration with the Moroccan Ministry of Interior, the Municipality of Rabat, the Bouregreg Valley Development Agency, Stareo (Greater Rabat Bus transportation Management Company), The National Commission on Urban Transport (NCUT) and The Casablanca Urban Transport Planning and Management Agency, the IBM team will provide insights and recommendations on:
Governance of the urban transportation sector
Integration of the various transportation modes (Tramway / Bus / Taxi)
Implementation of a sustainable economic model for public transportation
Conducting and implementing change
“IBM is strongly committed to helping cities improve themselves and through this initiative will provide its best talent and expertise to help the city of Rabat develop smarter solutions for urban transport,” said Abdallah Rachidi, IBM Morocco Country General Manager.
This is the third IBM team that IBM has sent to Morocco on a pro-bono basis. Earlier this year, a team from IBM’s Corporate Service Corps program was involved in several other projects:
At the Ministry of Agriculture, the IBM team helped design systems to help farmers increase revenue. This included a system that automatically disseminates market prices using phone texts and speech recognition technology. The team also provided advice on establishing international food exchanges and an irrigation advisory system that uses analytics technology.
At the Ministry of General and Economic Affairs and the Department of Social Economy, a team of IBM employees proposed a national strategy to implement the “Badawi Souk” to increase the revenue of rural entrepreneurs.
At the ARDI Foundation, the IBM team recommended marketing methodologies for market segmentation and product design, including tactics such as client surveys, word-of-mouth advertising, and an incentive system.
At the Moroccan Women Network for Mentoring, the IBM team developed a two-year plan to help the organization develop a charter, training manual, blog, social networking guidelines, and web advertising strategy.
Africa is a key priority for IBM’s skilled problem-solving efforts. Since its launch in 2008, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps has deployed more than 500 IBM employees on approximately 44 teams to South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt. All told, across 30 different countries, IBM has sent 1,500 employees and executives coming 50 countries on more than 150 team assignments throughout the world via its Corporate Service Corps.