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IT Leaders Africa Summit 2018

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The IT Leaders Africa Summit has been providing IT executives with practical knowledge from industry experts and thought leaders since its inception 8 years ago. With the assistance of an advisory panel of experienced C-level IT executives, the summit encompasses the most current trends concerning translating business strategies into IT functions, as well as cyber security, governance, and disruptive technology. We have recruited the top IT executives in Africa to present on the issues concerning IT leaders in today’s rapidly evolving market to ensure that you are ahead of the curve.

Attend Africa’s largest CIO event to ensure that you are equipped with the most current IT knowledge

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Intra-Africa trade to play larger role in local GDP contributions

As growth in developed markets such as Europe, China and North Africa continue to stagnate, greater regional integration in Africa, amongst all role players, is needed to capitalize on the continent’s growth potential. This is according to Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, who says that when comparing intra-regional trade statistics, Africa’s rates are amongst the lowest in the world, with less than 20% of what is produced in the region, remaining on the continent.

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Africa’s slight economic slowdown will not discourage investment, says DHL

Sub-Saharan Africa real GDP growth of plus 4% expected in 2016 which is up from 2015.

Over the past few years, Africa has been top of mind for foreign business investment, often referred to as one of the last frontiers for economic growth and development. However, given the recent economic downturn and headwinds that the continent is experiencing – is the region still offering opportunity to investors? 

The World Bank’s January 2016 Global Economic Prospects reported that Sub-Saharan Africa’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at its lowest rate since 2009 in 2015 with a growth of a 3,4%. This was down from the 4, 6% and 4, 9% growth that was reported in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

Hennie Heymans, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, says that the company firmly believes that the African continent is still one of the last frontiers for growth, and that the region will continue to grow as it has over the past decade due to the vast number of unexploited opportunities available for local and foreign investors.

“The drop in GDP growth for the region over the past year shouldn’t deter investors. Africa will continue to thrive, albeit, at a slightly slower pace as previously experienced,” says Heymans.

“Similar to the global environment which reported growth of 2.4% in 2015 (down 0.2% year on year) It was a tough year economically for Africa. Compounded by a drop in the demand for the continent’s commodities resulting in falling prices, declining currencies, political instability and El Nino causing widespread drought, have all contributed to the region’s challenges. However, despite this, the region remains abound with untapped prospects and offers growth opportunities in 2016 for those willing to seek them out,” says Heymans.

This is supported by the latest World Bank’ Africa’s Pulse. Author and Acting Chief Economist: World Bank Africa Region, Punam Chuhan-Pole, said on the report’s findings:

“The good news is that domestic demand generated by consumption, investment, and government spending will nudge economic growth upwards to 4, 4 percent in 2016, and to 4, 8 percent in 2017.”

The reportalso highlights that specific regions have higher growth prospects than others. Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania were listed as countries expected to sustain a growth of approximately 7% per year in 2015 to 2017. This was attributed to large-scale investment into energy and transport projects, consumer spending, and investment in the resource sector.

Heymans says that based on DHL’s experience, each country offers unique growth opportunities.

“For example, in Ethiopia, the telecommunications sector is a large contributor to GDP. It was reported that the country had 40 million mobile subscribers and 10 million internet connections in 2015. However with a population of over 90 million, the sector has capacity to double its contribution to GDP.”

“In Mozambique, the retail sector is offering huge opportunities. With a growing middle class and shopping culture, coupled with a limited availability of common products, this sector offers opportunities for both small and large businesses.”

“With Rwanda’s ambition to become a regional ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hub, there has also been a stronger demand for communication devices and ICT-related equipment. Similarly, we’ve seen an influx of medical supplies in the country with a booming healthcare sector.”

Heymans adds that more countries in the region could be thriving if not for underdeveloped infrastructure and bureaucracy. He points to the mining sector in Madagascar as one example. “This could be a potentially lucrative opportunity for investors due to the country’s coal, nickel and ilmenite resources; however several legislative reforms are still needed.

“The opportunities are clearly there, it’s all about having a long-term, sustainable focus on the region. As we move into the second quarter of 2016, DHL Express will continue to invest in the SSA region, in our people and our network, with the ultimate goal of seeing Africa thrive,” concludes Heymans.

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DHL invests about EUR47m in Sub-Saharan Africa

Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL Group, visited South Africa and Nigeria this week. The visit demonstrated the overall importance of emerging markets in the Group’s Strategy 2020: Focus.Connect.Grow., and in specific the encouraging development of Sub-Saharan Africa. During his stay in South Africa and Nigeria, Frank Appel met with employees and customers, and visited several logistics facilities.

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What do customers really want?

In an ever changing and fast paced world where alternatives are rife, customer experience is rapidly becoming one of the most important elements of a business’ success. According to the Institute of Customer Service, the driving factor that will determine decisions going forward will be the level of a customer’s intellectual and emotional engagement with the purchase.

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Collaboration is crucial to boosting trade in Africa, says DHL

Business leaders from around the world gathered in Cape Town last week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa under the theme, Then and Now: Reimagining Africa's FutureAccording to Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, the forum’s theme could not be more fitting given the rise of Africa over the last few decades.

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2015 Outlook: DHL expectations for Africa

In line with Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) projected economic growth of 4.9% this year, which is double the projection for advanced economies (2.4%,) DHL SSA expects 2015 to be a year of growth for the logistics industry on the African continent, largely driven by increased consumer demand and the rapidly developing e-commerce industry.

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