The world’s largest maker of business management soft ware, SAP AG (SAP) has declared its intentions to dig deep into countries producing gas and oil in Africa, in what analysts see as a move by the company to quickly position itself for serious African business opportunities emerging in the continent’s oil and natural gas sector.
The regional leader of SAP operations in Africa, Pfungwa Serima, said there is urgent need for Africa to strategize on scaling the markets for oil and natural gases in the continent.
Pfungwa said the desire by the African countries producing these products is worth a congratulatory nod. Mentioning Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria as very promising countries in the sector, he said it is just a matter of time and they will be declared the world Giants.
Serima who has been holding meetings with government officials from Senegal and Ivory Coast reported that SAP’s plan in the near future is to table the need for amplifying the presence of these countries and laying down the strategies for growth in the continent.
SAP has reported impressive profits coming out of the company’s business in Africa. Although Serima did not mention the exact amount of profit SAP has pocketed from the continent that investors now refer to as the ‘last frontier’, he gave an example of how license purchasing has shown tremendous growth in Africa within the past three years.
Serima challenged African countries to give education first priority. He said lack of education and oppressive governance has disadvantaged Africa. The SAP leader who is a Zimbabwean urged the African leaders to let democracy take its due course for this is the best way to motivate companies to invest in Africa.
SAP was founded in 1972 as a System Analysis and Program Development company by five IBM engineers. Unfortunately the company did not show any sign of meaningful growth until the period between 1985 to 1990 when it released the SAP internet software to the market.
The company acquired its current name SAP AG after the 2005 annual general meeting in Germany. It was formerly referred to as SAP. AG is an acronym for Akitengesellschaft which is a German name for a corporation that is limited by shares.
SAP’s other software products include enterprise resource planning application systems and management, enterprise data warehouse products, SAP business warehouse, SAP business objects software, Sybase mobile products and memory computing appliances.
McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co- CEO’s who took over the company in 2010, have added mobile and web based software to the other software products provided by the company. They have also deployed the fast Hanna database to challenge its biggest competitor, Oracle Corp.
SAP is headquartered in Walldorf in German. Johannesburg serves as the headquarters for its African business activities. It runs several regional offices worldwide.