Opportunities in Africa, but education still critical – Intel

Intel Corporation wants to leverage off the position of its technology, integrated into a wide range of mobile devices, to enhance the potential of Africa and touch the lives of every African.

Sven Jochen Beckmann, Territory Manager for South and Sub Saharan Africa. (Image: Intel)

Management at Intel acknowledges that it is an ambitious plan – considering the challenges within Africa – but certainly possible and a significant contribution to efforts to meet the technology requirements of a growing number of users.

The company has established presence in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa., as well as staff who are responsible for SADC, Francophone and North Africa regions.

In terms of mobile technology, Africa represents a high-growth market, fuelled by demand from a growing consumer base and high adoption rates.

Data consumption and smartphone development are driving technology growth rates.

Sven Jochen Beckmann, Territory Manager for South and Sub Saharan Africa, Intel Corporation says the statistic related to projected population growth he has available speaks of 1,2billion people by the year 2016.

In terms of smartphones today there are over 700 million devices in existence says Beckmann and Africa is one of the fastest growing data markets globally. “Yes, it is coming off a small base, but people are not interested in voice, they are interested in data. They are looking for a better experience, faster devices, realtime connectivity and rich content,” says Beckmann.

“There are significant opportunities for any company. If one looks at the population dynamics, consumers and the youth make up a huge portion of that, and lets not forget about the enterprise. Data centres are becoming increasingly important. There are big challenges with power and education. This is particularly topical,” he adds.

Beckmann stresses the importance of subjects like science, maths and technology and what these can offer the continent going forward.

“If you consider how Silicon Valley was built, it was built around universities. I am not saying we have to copy the model, but we have to build a culture of entrepreneurship and making a difference. At the moment, there is concern about education overall,” he continues.

Education and skills development aside, Beckmann also sees access to cost-effective broadband and this goes hand-in-hand with content.

Beckmann also underlines Intel’s focus on the continued connectivity between smart devices and innovation within core processing technology, incorporating a move to 14nm processing infrastructure.

And Africa is certainly earmarked for the rollout of solutions and delivery of technology by Intel.

“We are committed. From a worldwide perspective Africa is open for business. It is a key growth market…and we are adopting our strategies. It is important that everyone has access to the technology, not just the premier segments,” he adds.

Chris Tredger, Online Editor