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IT sector on track for job creation

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The IT sector is expected to generate almost 393 000 jobs and 9 000 new companies over the next four years in the Middle East & Africa region, adding to the 1,2-million already in IT-related employment. 


The new jobs and businesses will help to generate about $12,5-million in tax revenues, while contributing $34,4-billion to GDP (gross domestic product).
These are some of the findings of a Microsoft-sponsored IDC (International Data Corporation) study on the IT industry’s impact on job creation, company formation, local IT spending and tax revenues in 82 countries and regions worldwide. In Africa, the study focused on Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Overall, the study covers the areas that comprise 99,5% of the world’s IT spend.
The study predicted that IT spending would create just over 7-million new jobs and 100 000 new businesses worldwide over the next four years. It also predicted that in 2007, Microsoft-related activities would be responsible for almost 15-million jobs in an IT industry of just over 35-million people – 42% of total IT employment globally.
In the Middle East and Africa, 53% of the 1,2-million people in IT-related employment are involved with Microsoft and its ecosystem of partners.
In Nigeria, the figures show that 47% of the 84 000 people in IT-related employment are involved with Microsoft and its ecosystem of partners. More than 23 000 new jobs and 400 new companies are expected from IT over the next four years, producing more than $200-million in tax revenues and contributing  $1,1-billion to GDP.
In Kenya, 55% of IT employees are involved with the Microsoft ecosystem. More than 4 000 new jobs and over 100 new companies are predicted from IT, producing more than $37,8-million in tax revenues and contribute $500-million to GDP.
"Today, technology is a key factor for economic, social and technological progress, and for the sustainability of economies all over the world," says John Gantz, IDC's Chief Research Officer.
"The IDC research shows that software provides a large contribution to a vibrant IT economy.  It also shows the significant contribution made by the Microsoft ecosystem, especially in the creation of local businesses and local jobs."
The study also found that Microsoft serves as an economic catalyst in every country in which it operates.  The revenues earned by companies working with Microsoft far exceed the revenues earned by Microsoft itself.  For every one dollar that Microsoft earns in 2007, companies working with Microsoft in the Middle East & Africa region will earn just over $12. In Kenya and Nigeria this ratio is 1:7 and 1:11 respectively.
“IDC’s research quantifies the enormous power of software to create local jobs and grow economies in developed and developing markets,” saysThomas Hansen, the regional manager for West, East & Central Africa at Microsoft. “Millions of people are employed globally in Microsoft-related activities, generating more than half a trillion dollars in taxes in 2007 for governments worldwide. Across sub-Saharan Africa, this trend is being mirrored, although we believe that IT has an even greater opportunity to underpin growth, economic development and the general upliftment of the people of the continent.”
In terms of market growth, IDC predicts that spending on IT in the Middle East & Africa will grow at just under 10% per annum for the next four years, with software growing at almost 11%. In 2007, just over $31-billion was spent on IT, almost $5-billion of which was on software – almost 15%. The report also shows that almost 40% of IT employees are engaged in creating, distributing, installing or servicing software.