More and more big tech corporations are increasing their focus on Africa and increasing their investment in the continent. And this is for good reasons as it would appear, major studies such as those undertaken by McKinsey’s MGI show really positive indications concerning Africa’s economic potential. According to an article on Reuters on a MGI study:

Africa’s strong growth will continue at a rapid pace and investors and business can not afford to ignore the continent’s potential which goes far beyond commodities, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study…

“While there remain risks to growth in any individual country, our analysis suggests that the continent’s long-term growth prospects are quite strong,” the study said.

MGI predicted that in 2020 the five biggest consumer markets — Alexandria, Cairo, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos — will each see more than $25 billion in household spending. The consumer markets in those cities will be comparable to Mumbai or New Delhi.

The June 2010 McKinsey Quarterly Report asks, “What is driving Africa’s growth“?:

Africa’s economic pulse has quickened, infusing the continent with a new commercial vibrancy. Real GDP rose by 4.9 percent a year from 2000 through 2008, more than twice its pace in the 1980s and ’90s. Telecommunications, banking, and retailing are flourishing. Construction is booming. Private-investment inflows are surging…

If recent trends continue, Africa will play an increasingly important role in the global economy. By 2040, it will be home to one in five of the planet’s young people, and the size of its labor force will top China’s…

The time for businesses to act on those plans is now. Companies already operating in Africa should consider expanding. For others still on the sidelines, early entry into emerging economies provides opportunities to create markets, establish brands, shape industry structures, influence customer preferences, and establish longterm relationships.

Even CNN is recogonizing that Africa’s value is on the rise:

The writing is clearly on the wall, and smart companies are making their move now. One such example is the recent announcement by IBM to increase involvement in Africa.

Top computer chip manufacturer, Intel is also making clear indications as to it’s plans for Africa going into the future:

Intel Corporation –the world leader in computing innovation – is targeting emerging economies –including Kenya by investing millions of dollars worth of technology projects aimed at bridging the digital divide and boost the country’s quest to become an information hub in Africa.

Intel views Kenya and other developing economies as the key markets where huge growth opportunities in computing will come from in the next few years. This stems from the fast growing usage of technology in these markets as well as a largely untapped market in both businesses and individuals. Intel expects that IT budgets are set to increase as companies look for ways to maximize their IT spend for productivity and expansion thus providing great opportunities for Intel.

Intel Kenya Country Manager, Omar Bajaber says mobility, affordable yet high speed broadband access will be the key considerations for consumers in 2011 hence they will expect new and affordable devices that would ensure they stay connected. He says providing technology access and IT skills is a cornerstone for future innovation, economic growth and individual progress in the competitive marketplace. Nations must equip their citizens with these critical skills in order to realize their potential in today’s knowledge economy.

(L)Omar Bajaber, Intel Kenya Country Manager flanked by Danie Steyn, Intel World Ahead Africa Director during the press conference to announce the company’s investments in ICT projects and projections for 2011.

“We want increased access to technology for everyone as well as to equip learners and teachers with 21st century skills necessary to catapult Kenya into succeeding in the global market and thus in  2011 Intel in Kenya will be looking at ways to make computers more affordable to teachers and students, have localized digital content to be distributed to schools, extend our education programs for teachers and ICT in classrooms to private schools and strengthen our partnership with CCK on development projects”, said Bajaber.

Incorporated in Kenya three years ago, Intel has committed millions of dollars to support successful rollout of e-learning initiatives in East Africa targeted at teachers and students – largely improving the quality of education.

The projects include deployment of networked computers for student and teacher use, training of teachers to effectively integrate technology in the classroom through Intel Teach Program, deployment of wireless infrastructure within schools, providing access to digital educational content and developing of the local ICT industry to promote economic development.

In addition, it has partnered with KIE and Microsoft to establish a School Technology Innovation Centre in Nairobi – a model that has been promoted in other countries. The centre is aimed at research on innovative emerging technology solutions and would serve as a repository and showcase for best-known methods of teaching and learning.

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