Accenture aims to grow in Africa

Accenture Ltd. has taken the first steps toward expansion in the African market. With a number of deals in countries like Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius and Egypt already under its belt, the company has committed Adedotun Sulaiman, country MD for Nigeria, as its lead partner for growth on the continent.

“We have established offices in Johannesburg and Lagos, and from these bases we intend to serve the rest of Africa. There are no plans to establish new offices at this point,” says Sulaiman. “At this point we are putting plans in place to build our brand on the continent, and we will use local partners and alliances to bolster our presence where appropriate.”

Sulaiman says apart from those territories where it already has a presence, Accenture will initially target seven new countries: Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. “But first we need to get to know these countries and their economies, and we need to become known ourselves for who we are and what we do. Then we need to evaluate factors like business culture and competition, which could come from local players, from global players with a physical presence, or from global players who commute on a project-by-project basis. Once we have a good sense of a local market, we will seek the appropriate arrangements and partners we need to win the right business,” he adds.

Sulaiman says the industries that will be targeted include financial services, oil and gas, mining and construction, utilities, government, telecommunications, retailing and transport.

“We have a number of new initiatives underway already, and we hope to be able to report significant growth in the near future,” Sulaiman says. Accenture is already prospecting clients, or pursuing specific opportunities, in Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia and Tunisia. “We are also placing a special focus on local companies expanding into the rest of Africa,” he explains.

“Accenture is taking a sober, slow and steady approach to a very challenging continent,” says Sulaiman. “While there is much business to be done, we need to ensure that it is good business which will ensure sustainable benefits for the African economy, while it must also be commercially viable for us,” he explains.

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