BlackBerry opens third South African apps lab in Johannesburg

BlackBerry today announced the opening of its third BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa, to be based at the JoziHub mobile and ICT co-creation hub in Milpark, Johannesburg.

As a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship for aspiring students and developers, JoziHub is an ideal site for the new BlackBerry apps lab. The opening of the new lab follows the opening of the BlackBerry apps labs in Cape Town at the Bandwidth Barn in November 2012 and at the University of Pretoria (UP) in May 2012, which are now well established and successful institutions.

“With backing from heavyweights in the tech industry and close proximity to the universities of the Witwatersrand and Johannesburg – the two largest universities in the city – JoziHub is a perfect location for the country’s third BlackBerry apps lab,” said Alexandra Zagury, MD for South Africa and Southern Africa at BlackBerry. “We are looking forward to fostering mobile innovation in Johannesburg by supporting even more training and support for South African application developers.”

The aim of the BlackBerry apps labs is to help accelerate mobile application development in South Africa and create new opportunities in the mobile space. In doing so, BlackBerry is working with all stakeholders to bolster the South African mobile innovation eco-system. This aligns with the objectives of the South African Department of Communications’ (DOC) eSkills Institute to stimulate research, development and innovation.

The labs provide local developers, including students, start-ups, entrepreneurs and others, with access to resources in development, marketing, sales and training to help them expand their ideas and business opportunities.

To date, the BlackBerry apps labs have been very successful in supporting the creation of new apps and skills development. Together, the labs have a total of 100 registrants; and have reached more than 1600 individuals through more than 13 events and other initiatives.

“We look forward to working with BlackBerry to mobilise our resident developer community, including students, researchers and faculties adjacent to our premises, the universities of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand,” said Annie Lopes, JoziHub Community Manager.

The BlackBerry apps labs form part of BlackBerry’s extensive developer programme that spans Africa. BlackBerry has been working with 80 universities, colleges and schools across Africa through the BlackBerry Academic Program, which provides institutions with materials and content to teach and educate students on mobile application development and plans to open a developer lab in Nigeria later this year.

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BlackBerry opens third South African apps lab in Johannesburg