International Data Corporation (IDC) announced the launch of an exciting new strategic program with Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). Called ‘Africa Together’, the initative aims to assist Egyptian ICT firms in penetrating high-growth markets across the African continent through joint partnership and market development efforts, further enhancing the role of Egypt’s ICT industry as a key contributor to the country’s economic growth.
The statistics certainly suggest there will be no shortage of opportunities for them to tap into. While the world’s second largest and second most populous continent is currently in the midst of an unprecedented period of economic growth, ICT usage and penetration levels remain significantly lower than in the rest of the world. But as the continent becomes more and more connected, ICT adoption is set to explode at rates barely imaginable in the world’s developed markets. Indeed, IDC’s latest forecasts show IT spending across Africa (excluding South Africa) reaching $26.4 billion by 2018, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.03% — close to double the worldwide figure of 3.81%. So the unparalleled potential of the region is clear to see.
“The considerable demand that exists across the wider African continent for skills and knowledge transfer makes it an extremely appealing prospect for Egyptian ICT companies, as does the ability to introduce innovative, cost-effective, and relevant IT solutions to these markets,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “To this end, the ‘Africa Together’ initiative exploits the natural synergies that exist between IDC’s unrivalled market insights and ITIDA’s quest to increase the global competitiveness of Egypt’s ICT industry. Working together, we will identify the key growth markets and segments across Africa that will provide the greatest opportunities for Egyptian companies.”
As part of the ‘Africa Together’ program, IDC will match the capabilities of Egyptian ICT companies with the needs of African channel and end-user companies. This match-making process will culminate in two three-day events to be held in Lagos and Nairobi towards the end of 2014, where IDC will bring Egyptian ICT players face to face with leading end-user organizations and channels from the West and East Africa regions to discuss the potential for future cooperation and partnerships.
In a further effort to assist Egyptian ICT companies in expanding their exports and market reach into the rest of Africa, IDC will host an exclusive CIO Forum in Cairo early next year. IDC has a long and proven track record of facilitating profitable new business relationships through large-scale networking events, and will build on this reputation by flying in 50 hugely influential CIOs from across Africa to interact directly with more than 100 Egyptian ICT leaders. The result will be the country’s foremost gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives, with though-provoking and actionable insights delivered through a series of compelling presentations and case studies that will facilitate a deeper understanding of global ICT best practices and the latest trends shaping international markets.
Another key facet of ‘Africa Together’ is IDC’s Industry Technology Advantage Program (ITAP), which will empower ITIDA with comprehensive data and trend analysis of ICT markets across the entire world. Bundled with unstinting access to IDC’s expert analysts and strategic workshops, this valuable information tool will support ITIDA’s mission to promote trade in international markets and become a strategic advisor to both local and international companies.
“IDC’s wealth of data covers all domains of ICT, including software, infrastructure, services, and telecommunications,” says Lalchandani. “We can provide in-depth insights into markets throughout the Middle East and Africa, as well as Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North/South America, enabling ITIDA policy and program makers to develop data-driven strategies and initiatives tailored to the unique strengths of Egyptian ICT companies.”
“The signed agreements with IDC come in line with ITIDA’s endeavors to boost the exports of local IT firms, help them expand beyond Egypt and tap into the business opportunities in the targeted countries in Africa,” says Hussein El-Gueretly, ITIDA’s CEO. “Along with ‘Africa Together’ Initiative, hosting the CIO Forum in Cairo in collaboration with IDC will be a unique opportunity for ITIDA to rebrand Egypt an IT hub in the region and a rewarding experience and an excellent venue for CIOs to exchange information on current topics as well as create opportunities for cooperation with senior decision makers and business leaders from across the region”.
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