Africa is unique. For centuries this continent has provided most of the world's natural resources, but for centuries it has lagged behind in development. Still today, more than half of Africa lives on a dollar or less a day. Yet Africa, despite its many challenges, is seeing good growth even in these tough economic times.
With a population hungry for products and services, and telecommunications on the continent growing rapidly, enterprising companies are seeing - and taking - the opportunities being presented in Africa. The continent is using its entrepreneurial spirit to uplift itself and co-exist in a competitive global economy, and is growing as a result.
“Africans have realised that there is a need to work towards and record a higher economic growth rate, which must be sustained and accelerated in order to have a significant impact on eradicating poverty and increasing living standards,” says Jeremy Waterman, Managing Director of Softline Accpac. “This is why ICT is playing a pivotal role in the economy of every country on the continent.”
According to Waterman, Accpac has found this reflected in the number of well-trained financial staff across Africa. “We have found many willing partners and a very good understanding of the benefits of implementing efficient IT systems in every African country,” he says. “There is a challenge, however, in getting these systems accepted and users trained at the lower end-user level.”
Despite these issues, trained systems analysts, software engineers and network managers, coupled with successful site reference implementations, are much in demand. Waterman says a major strategic mindset is taking place to accommodate the changes technology is providing across the continent, and that successful projects are becoming increasingly common.
The number of success stories in a variety of African countries Waterman puts down to Accpac's multifaceted, highly skilled development teams and partners who work with client-driven suggestions and the demands of the marketplace to continually enhance the company's offering. “Local expertise has to be planned, developed and managed. The benefits of ICT need to be understood,” he says. “But for those companies that understand the nature of business in Africa, opportunities abound.”