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Small African businesses shy away from software

Africa , 26 May 2014

Small African businesses shy away from software

High costs for software, a lack of connectivity and insufficient skills are holding back the take up of technology solutions among Africa’s small businesses, says an expert.

Senior analyst for Open Capital Advisors, Rodney Carew, has told ITWeb Africa that small businesses in Africa struggle to afford the likes of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software from major vendors.

“Even though there are affordable CRM productions available, all the established products are expensive for these SMEs,” Carew told ITWeb Africa.

Other challenges such as connectivity are also holding back Africa’s small businesses.

Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, senior vice president Africa for satellite connectivity firm SES Broadband Services, said earlier this month that 300 million Africans are more than 50km from a fibre or cable broadband network.

“Since Africa is a relatively new market and since the connectivity is still a major issue in major part of Africa, presence of CRM solutions is rather meager,” Carew said.

Carew also said that training for small business in using software tools is necessary.

Open Capital Advisory has participated in SAP sabbatical programme where practitioners from various countries volunteered in different projects in implementing systems with small and medium businesses in Kenya.

Open Capital Advisory helps its clients analyse and adapt to the rapidly changing and growing markets across East Africa by designing strategic approaches, launching projects, implementing best practices, and raising external funds to drive growth.

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