Didata boosts African presence

Dimension Data (Didata) first decided to capture a share of the global networking software market before returning to its own backyard, but the South African networking giant has now turned its attention back to Africa.

The company, with operations in Africa, North America, Australia and Europe is at a decisive stage in expanding its African market base through partnerships. Until recently that had not been a top Didata priority. But things have changed.

Didata is "going beyond handshake partnering with African [IT] companies," said Fred Moturi, Didata executive for Africa. Didata is opening regional service centres in both west and east Africa. The centres will complement the company's presence in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Under the terms of the partnerships, Didata has a minority stake in the ventures and provides intellectual capital, training, new technology, systems and processes and access to new products and portfolios. Through a partnership with Telnet, Didata now has an office in Nigeria, and a deal with LANtech has led to an office in Kenya. Didata already has offices in Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.

The company has also undertaken social responsibility programs to expand and contribute to IT development in Africa. Didata is training workers on the use of technology and is involved in recruiting and training recent college graduates to help further their IT careers. Africa is in the midst of enormous IT and telecommunications transformation but has a serious skills shortage.