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SAP celebrates African successes

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Kathy Gibson at Saphila 2017 in Sun City – Since announcing its investment in developing the African market, SAP has enjoyed massive growth in the continent as organisations use technology to innovate.
Brett Parker, MD of SAP Africa, says that 776 new African customers have joined the SAP family in 2016, with 58 of those in the cloud.
“The cloud business is gaining amazing traction in Africa,” he says. In fact, SAP Africa has grown its cloud business by about 447%, and the in-premise business by 27%.
In-memory computing, big data, HANA and S4/HANA have also enjoyed significant growth in Africa.
“There are so many new opportunities in Africa,” Parker says. “And the level of innovation in general in Africa is huge. Some African organisations are doing things that are well ahead of the rest of the world.”
Cutting-edge technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence are all being used in African projects, he adds.
Solutions include using sensors to reduce poaching, calculating exact fertiliser needs to improve crop yields and even medical applications like robot surgery in South Africa, and preventing deaths from cervical cancer in Kenya.
Since 2014, SAP has opened new offices for French- and Portuguese-speaking countries. “This helps us to serve our customers better in their local language, working with local businesses,” Parker says.
Other highlights include the Skills for Africa programme, where more than 500 Africans have been trained, certified and employed. SAP Africa won the Hasso Plattner Foundation Award for this programme.
Africa Code Week has also had significant impact on Africa, with about 500 000 children and young adults exposed to coding and technology in the last three years.
SAP launched its co-innovation lab in October 2016, and 27 projects are already in incubation, including a system that will help to reduce water wastage.