SAP to Invest Big Time in Africa

SAP recently announced a seven-year plan to up-skill local African talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in Africa. The software giant plans to invest up to $500 million (USD) through 2020 as it continues to build on the region’s impressive double-digit growth rate momentum. As part of this commitment, SAP Africa, led by Pfungwa Serima, is now taking responsibility for SAP operations across 51 African countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania.
Among many initiatives announced as part of the plan, SAP plans to hire up to 250 new employees on the continent through 2015 (it currently has about 700 employees and over 1,300 customers in Africa), open offices in Angola and Morocco, and expand its partner ecosystem in the region. The goal is to establish the African region as one of the company's top-five growth markets globally. Much of the direct investment will be outside South Africa, where SAP already has a solid footprint. Robert Enslin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and president of Global Customer Operations, happens to be South African, while SAP’s co-founder Hasso Plattner has long had business and personal connections in South Africa as well.
SAP and IBM recently making a series of moves in the African region is logical, at least to be less vulnerable to some politically and economically unstable markets. For example, the Russian sanctions by the E.U. and U.S. will likely affect SAP’s top line in future quarters.
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