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By Charl Snyman, SVP & Managing Director, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe at HP

Africa’s burgeoning technology sector is going through a significant change. Today, Africa has the youngest demographic in the world and is on the verge of a technological renaissance. This is an opportunity for the region, but it is crucial that we adapt to this changing market and stay customer-focused if we want to be commercially successful and sustainable.

With the optimism of developing Africa’s digital economy, we are enabling organisations to receive better technological solutions and providing young people with opportunities to access a world of online educational material.

Bringing innovation to support the change of society in Africa

In 2022, Africa’s population is expected to surpass China and India. In fact, it is expected to double to 2.5 billion in the next 30 years. This population growth is driving the urbanisation dynamics of African cities. Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to more than 950 million people. This offers a great opportunity but also challenges for the continent’s citizens, corporations, and governments. 

We as a company need to be more focused than ever on the evolving needs of our customers and partners in this region. Among the changes, business models are shifting from a product and transactional model towards outcomes and solutions. This is driving new expectations, particularly when it comes to preparing tomorrow’s workers with critical digital skills.

In 2017, we pledged more than $20 million to enhance education for more than 100 million people by 2025 Worldwide – including HP LIFE initiatives. We are proud to say that the e-Learning program has reached over 580,000 students, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners in more than 200 countries and territories. In Africa, our mission is to empower 100 000 learners by 2025.  We already have the LIFE centres in the following countries South Africa, Nigeria & Tunisia. Having access to technology means having access to education. Given the fact that over 340 million of Africans are on the Internet, we see the huge potential of entrepreneurs and students in acquiring new skills and capabilities. It’s crucial we start today to prepare tomorrow’s workers with critical digital and soft skills.

A digitally enabled organisation

Technology is an enabler for the office of the future – providing training, collaboration, and opportunities to learn. As a leader in pioneering technological developments, HP makes it possible for organisations in Africa to meet their full potential and be innovative and future facing.

To successfully reinvent our customer and partner journey, we are building HP in a digitally-enabled organisation with smarter and more consistent systems, tools and processes – all powered by data. We are driving efficiency and accelerating decision-making; these investments make it easier to do business with us.

Our success is also dependent on increasing the loyalty of our customers and partners. We take the time to fully understand our stakeholders and what it is they need, and then deliver on solutions that translate into positive customer experience. Competitive total cost of ownership, quality, innovation, and the way we do business also drives customer satisfaction.

The benefits of our renewed focus on services are already being seen. Curating a new operating model and expanding our digital capabilities prompts further growth, driven by data-led insights. For instance, partners in the supplies, MPS (Managed Print Services), DaaS (Device-as-a-Service), retail and services sectors will have better opportunities to cross-pollinate their business with new revenue streams in the region.

In 3D, we know the importance of the 4th industrial revolution and that is why we announced our new HP 3D-as-a-Service (3DaaS) offering, allowing our customers to automatically replenish their 3D supplies in a move which helps customers scale to mass production.

Moving forward, we will be more customer-focused, digitally powered and data-driven. The choices we make right now are all with an eye to the future of Africa, to set the company on the right course so that we can continue to lead with innovation and execute with purpose. We are transforming our business from a position of strength: it’s about building on our recent progress and capitalizing on future opportunities so that we can continue to grow as the continent grows.

We have a great team, a great strategy and the imagination needed to prosper. We are incredibly excited about what the future holds for Africa.