Africa In Focus

Africa In Focus: "The mainstream thinking now is that Africa is different and we could get it right if we want. The choice is fully ours, and it is now time for us to define what we want."

African Development Bank (AFDB) President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Huawei Technologies Seeks Revenue Growth in Africa By 30% Over 3Years

China’s largest phone-equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co., has expressed optimism that its revenue in southern and eastern Africa may climb as much as 30 percent in the next three years as growth on the continent outpaces most regions.
“There is still much room to grow, so we can see that in the next three years network availability will be improved greatly. This is why we can grow 20 percent to 30 percent,” Chief Technology Officer for East & Southern Africa Region Radoslaw Kedzia told Bloomberg in an interview.
According to the company’s eastern and southern Africa president, Li Dafeng, Huawei will capitalize on low mobile-broadband penetration rates and increasing demand for smart phones in Africa. It will also focus on developing its enterprise business that supplies equipment to governments and companies.
The company also plan to employ more local workers on the continent to boost the ratio of domestically hired employees to 70 percent from 60 percent, Li said, without specifying a time period.
Li noted that “If you look at the penetration of mobile broadband compared to European countries or compared with China, there is a lot of potential. In my region, the penetration of smart phones is 10 percent. In China, mobile broadband penetration is 30 percent, in Europe it is more than 50 percent and 16 percent in Kenya. So there is still a lot of potential.”
Huawei’s business in southern and eastern Africa covers 25 countries including South Africa, Angola and Kenya. Li noted that the company posted a revenue of $3.42 billion in 2011, up 15 percent from $2.98 billion in 2010 for the entire African region. An e-mailed statement from the company also asserts that the total sales account for 13 percent of global sales.
Africa’s most-populous nation, Nigeria, which supplies equipment to mobile-phone companies, remains Huawei’s biggest market for its carrier division on the continent. However, Africa’s largest economy, South Africa, contributes 30 percent of the company’s African revenue.
Li says the company plans to grow market share as the country seeks to achieve 100 percent broadband penetration by 2020.
Bloomberg noted that Huawei’s customers in eastern and southern Africa include South Africa’s five mobile operators, including Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD) and MTN Group Ltd. (MTN).Other clients are Angola’s Unitel SA and Movicel Telecomunicacoes Lda and Safaricom Ltd. (SAFCOM) of Kenya, East Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator.
The company also has a research and development center in South Africa and seven training facilities in the region, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and Morocco. The company has helped 18 African governments build networks in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Angola, Guinea, and Djibouti.

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