New Era (Windhoek)

Africa Has Huge Potential

Windhoek — The world's second largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, says Africa is one the areas in the world that will boost sales of personal computers in the short- to medium-term.

"Africa is certainly one of the areas that will take us to the next level," said Paul Collins, Lenovo's Consumer and SMB Manager for Africa. The company currently has African offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa.

And, while the company's growth last year was driven primarily by countries like Russia and India, Collins is adamant that the next wave of growth will be driven by Africa, where mobile phones have penetrated the market much more than personal computers.

"There is huge scope for growth in Africa," said Collins yesterday during a media briefing where he also announced an exclusively Namibian initiative that will enable Lenovo customers to swop PC's under warranty that experience hardware problems.

The initiative, which shows the company's willingness to experiment with African markets, is driven by Pinnacle, a South African-based PC distributor with a local branch.

According to Collins, Lenovo, which is present in more than 160 countries and employs about 27 000 people worldwide, currently holds about 14.5 percent of the world market and last year generated revenue of about US$21 billion (about N$185 billion).

Of this amount about US$120 million (just over N$1 billion) was generated from markets on the African continent, a figure which Collins said the company wants to double in the short- to medium-term. Apart from demonstrating an eagerness to invest more time and a concerted effort in Namibia, the visiting Lenovo team presented a myriad of business and consumer products and innovations designed to facilitate and grow both individuals and businesses alike.

One such innovation presented was the Lenovo Partner Network, designed to skill-up channel partners and strengthen relations across the Middle East and Africa. The network works on a loyalty system that not only supplies members access to business tools and resources, but supplies more resources the more the network is utilised. The Lenovo manager emphasised the need to stimulate growth at multiple levels.

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