IDC Africa CIO Summit, Sun City – While recessionary economic conditions have drastically altered growth predictions for the global IT industry, there are some markets that have been tipped as "bright spots" – and Africa is one of them.

Addressing about 100 delegates from throughout the continent at the inaugural IDC Africa CIO Summit at Sun City, Steven Frantzen, senior vice-president (EMEA) and Research & Managing Director CEMA at IDC, says the research group has had to revise its growth predictions for the industry in 2009, there were still some regions which will record reasonable growth.
"In the current economic climate it is very clear to everyone that we are heading into a very flat perod," Frantzen says. "We have revised our international growth figures from between 2% and 3% down to less than 2% – and we're talking about contraction not only in developed countries, but also in emerging markets.
"Some emerging markets were said to be immune from the economic crisis, but this has proved to be a fallacy given the nature of globalisation."
Having said that, Frantzen adds that there are still some positive growth signs in some emerging markets – Latin America, Asia-Pacicfic and, in particular, Africa.
"Africa seems to be a bright spot," he says. "There are a few pockets with positive elements and one of them is Africa. It was predicted that Africa would show doule-digit growth – in the region of 16% – but we've had to revise this down and we think Africa will now grow between 8% and 9%. The region will continue to see higher growth rates than the global norm."
Frantzen says that while the MEA (Middle East, Africa) region will account for about 5% of global IT spend, it was important to note that it would account for 13% of net new spend.
"This means that there is going to be increased focus on Africa," he told delegates. "This puts you in the driving seat considering the attention you're going to get.
"All round, it means a much more positive picture in Africa," Frantzen says.