Intel into Africa

Successful Intel Channel Conference in West Africa sets vendor on path to authorised channel network in sub-Sahara Africa.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  December 31, 2003

Intel is intent on establishing an authorised channel network in sub-Sahara Africa. The decision follows the success of the Intel African Channel Conference, which it held in Nigeria earlier in December. The chip manufacturer already claims to have signed up to at least 100 companies for its Intel Premiere Integrator Programme and will continue to leverage this start to boost its official presence in the continent. “We’re doing some very specific demand creation activities in Kenya and Nigeria at the moment, and we’ve been very surprised by the interest in the technology but clearly there is significant consumption going on,” comments Rod O’Shea, regional manager for the territory, Intel. Intel is not alone in its efforts to adopt a progressive approach to the sub-Sahara Africa market as both Acer and Fujitsu Seimens are also currently looking to expand their interests in the territory through partner programmes. O’Shea believes the enthusiasm of both Intel and the other vendors for creating official channels in Africa reflects the importance they play in the channel’s growth. “The challenge we have is building a more authorised distribution mechanism to make sure we can really see exactly what consumption is going on, and clearly support that by giving the right demand creation activities, and by making sure they’ve got the right support,” he adds. With the mobile sector already proving to be one of the most successful markets in the territory, Intel has high hopes for the adoption of Centrino in the region. “Mobility is moving very clearly and we see a lot of [future] demand for Centrino in places like Nigeria because there is a strong demand for mobile technology there,” he says. Considering the general difficulties of internet penetration and the lack of infrastructure in the region, some might consider the penetration of Centrino a pipe dream, but O’Shea feels this just presents more opportunities for the African channel. “For many of the emerging countries those existing [communications] infrastructures just aren’t there, so I think there’s a great opportunity to take a step beyond the traditional technologies. We do see growth there, and there is significant opportunity,” O’Shea concludes.

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