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Samsung to invest US$140m in Africa push

o Edris Kisambira
23.05.2011 kl 18:49 | Computerworld Uganda

Consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics will invest US$140 million over the next five years in a push to increase sales, build assembling plants and engineering academies, sponsor research projects and fight counterfeit products in Africa.

 

Consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics will invest US$140 million over the next five years in a push to increase sales, build assembling plants and engineering academies, sponsor research projects and fight counterfeit products in Africa.

This year alone, the firm plans to invest $40 million in Africa, with a target to more than double sales revenue.

"Our plan is to grow approximately 60 percent this year, and for the next four years we should be growing approximately 45 to 55 percent every year," said George Ferreira, Samsung Africa's chief operating officer, at the conclusion of the five-day Samsung Africa Forum 2011 in Nairobi last week.

In 2010, the firm's sales in Africa grew by 31 percent to reach $1.2 billion. The company has set itself a sales target of $10 billion by 2015, Ferreira said.

Globally, Samsung Electronics revenue hit $135.8 billion in 2010 with an ambitious vision to reach $400 billion by 2020.

Samsung used the Nairobi forum to display some of its products, ranging from mobile devices, laptop computers and digital cameras to Internet-connected televisions, refrigerators and washing machines.

Samsung wants to lead the African market by 2015, overtaking long-standing market leaders like Sony, Nokia and South Korean rival LG Electronics.

Today, Samsung operates in 42 African countries, up from 15 in 2009. The company, however, will largely focus on Africa's top 10 economies, which together generate 79 percent of the continent's wealth and comprise almost 47 percent of the population, according to Samsung Africa President Kwang Kee Park.

In the mobile handset arena it claims a market share of about 20 percent, with Nokia leading with a share of between 35 and 37 percent, according to Ferreira. "On mobile handsets, we want to get over 30 percent of market share," he said.

Ferreira said Samsung has overtaken Nokia in western Europe in the mobile market and seeks to do the same in Africa.

"To me it's not whether we will beat Nokia or not. It's only a matter of time because globally, we are overtaking Nokia," he said.

In terms of research, Samsung already runs an engineering academy in South Africa and is looking to replicate it elsewhere on the continent with the goal of graduating 10,000 electronics engineers in Africa by 2015.

Samsung has its Africa headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, regional offices in Nigeria and Kenya, and an office in Nairobi that oversees operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa.

Keywords: Hardware Systems  Business Issues  
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