SAP, a software corporation that is Germany’s third most valuable brand globally after Mercedes and BMW, has opened an office in Luanda, Angola — its fifth African hub, ITNewsAfrica reports.
The company makes software to manage business operations and customer relations.
SAP wants to expand in Portuguese-speaking Africa, strengthening relationships with government, customers and business partners, ITNewsAfrica reports.
Pedro Guerreiro, a former sales director for SAP in the U.S. will be managing director for SAP in Portuguese-speaking Africa. Guerreiro is also head of energy and natural resource industries at SAP Africa.
Active in Angola since 1998, SAP’s first customer was oil conglomerate, Sonangol. The company now has more than 55 Angolan customers in a variety of industries.
SAP also has offices in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. It claims to have 28 customers in Mozambique.
The company is “driving forward Portuguese-speaking Africa’s innovation agenda,” said Brett Parker, managing director of SAP Africa, ITNewsAfrica reports. “Despite the challenging economic environment at present, this is the perfect time to lay the technology foundation that will put businesses and government well ahead of the game when the tide turns. SAP is very optimistic about prospects in this region and looks forward to expanding our presence in the years to come.”
In June the company plans to launch a skills development and job creation initiative in Angola aimed at developing ICT and business skills – a first of its kind in the industry in Africa – the company said.
The program will give a chosen few students the opportunity to develop world-class skills and become SAP interns.
“SAP is a German company that showcases both the quality and reliability associated with ‘Made In Germany’ label,” said Ricardo Gerigk, a representative for the German economy in Angola. “SAP is the third most valuable German brand globally, right after Mercedes and BMW.”
Developing human resources in foreign countries is key to German brands settling in there, Gerigk said. “A highly skilled technology workforce will sharpen Angola’s competitive edge in the global economy,” he said. “The added value of companies like SAP is the German quality philosophy alongside an investment in human resources through vocational training with the goal to quickly replace foreign with local labor. This happens in all countries where German companies have settled, generating new jobs and ultimately boosting the national economy.”
SAP has been in Africa since 1982 with more than 1300 customers in 51 countries. So how gigantic is SAP? It has offices in 130 countries and more than 293,500 customers in 190 countries.