SAP eyes IT contracts in Ethiopia

The company has agreed to work with Ethiopia's state-owned electricity utility. 

SAP is in talks to secure IT contracts in Ethiopia as the government seeks to attract more international companies to help prop up the economy of Africa’s second-most populous country, according to a Bloomberg article.

The German software giant agreed to work with Ethiopia’s state-owned electricity utility on a new billing system that will make it easier to monitor power use and payments, SAP Africa head Cathy Smith said in an interview. More opportunities may arise in areas such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone calls, she said.

“We are staying very close to what is happening in Ethiopia,” Cathy told Bloomberg. “The government has become progressive and forward thinking on technology.”

Ethiopia is part-privatising the telecommunications sector as the former communist country looks to bring in new investment and improve services, particularly in data and online products.

 While the economic and political situation in many other Sub-Saharan African countries remains uncertain, there are some pockets of growth, according to Smith. Uganda is a market where SAP plans to expand services such as analytics and cloud computing to small and medium-sized companies, she said.

SAP has remained committed to Africa even after becoming embroiled in corruption scandals in countries including SA, where in 2018 the group identified about $11 million of improper payments to win contracts.