IBM, in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), announced the expansion of its quantum computer programme to 16 African universities.
The power of the quantum computer programme
According to IBM, quantum computing has the potential to far exceed the power of regular computers.
“It’s not your usual one and zeros. It’s about the superposition of ones and zeros, to have three zeros, a one, two ones to create a qubit,” IBM Research Africa VP Solomon Assefa told TechCrunch.
Which doesn’t really make any sense, but thankfully he explained what it means and the impact it could have on Africa getting ahead of the pack for once.
“Because of that, and that it has so many different states, the amount of computing you can do becomes exponential.
“What excites me here, is for once we are ahead in Africa for joining this movement. In five to 10 years, Q will have a significant impact, but if we can start the wave now, you never know what kind of applications and research will come out of this technology.”
Practical application of the programme
Wits intend to use the computers in their research into machine learning and in the fields of molecular biology, with a specific focus on HIV drugs.
“For Africa to remain competitive for the coming decades we must get the next generation of students quantum ready,” said Assefa.
Reaching deep into the realms of science fiction, Wits also intend to help IBM conduct research into quantum teleportation.
Because of the potential of quantum computing, its use is being explored in a variety of different areas, including financial modeling, logistics, and weather modeling, which are areas that traditional computers have struggled due to the sheer amount of data.
The following African universities are also involved in the quantum computer programme:
- University of Cape Town
- University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
- University of Pretoria
- Rhodes University
- University of Stellenbosch
- Addis Ababa University
- University of Ghana
- University of Nairobi
- University of Lagos
- University of Ibadan
- Obafemi Awolowo University lle-Ife
- University of Rwanda
- University Cheikh Anta Diop
- University of Dar es Salaam
- Makerere University
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