Ethiopian Organisations Meet in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia’s leading organisations gather to discuss potential, application of Intelligent Enterprise capabilities

Ethiopia’s leading organisations, technology implementers and SAP specialists gathered in Addis Ababa last week to discuss how intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and conversational interfaces could be applied to create a step-change in productivity and innovation and transform how companies conduct business.

According to Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: Central Africa at SAP Africa, the mass adoption of cloud, big data and mobile technologies over the past two decades has left organisations generating huge volumes of data that can be leveraged by intelligent technologies to drive innovation and business growth.

“Ethiopia’s rapid economic growth and development has created immense opportunities for organisations in the region to digitise and establish Intelligent Enterprise capabilities,” said Guerreiro. “Doing so will enable them to draw meaningful insights from their data that can be used to improve resource allocation, increase operational efficiencies and achieve game-changing business outcomes.”

Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and is the third-fastest growing economy in the world. According to data by the World Bank, Ethiopia’s growth is fuelled by the services industry, construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Its government aims to reach lower-middle-income status by 2025.

“Ethiopia is one of only two African countries that are expected to attain 7%+ GDP growth in the 2020s, which if sustained would double the country’s GDP in a single decade,” said Guerreiro. “This could completely transform the country’s economic prospects while unlocking unprecedented prosperity for its citizens. Technology has an important role to play, both as a catalyst for greater productivity and innovation, and an enabler of skills development and job creation. The SAP Innovation Day served as an inspirational platform for all companies in the country to see how Intelligent Enterprise capabilities can be applied in the service of this.”

The SAP Innovation Day Ethiopia was held in Addis Ababa and featured presentations by some of the country’s leading organisations, as well as showcases of SAP-led innovations, demo booths, and networking with some of the region’s most innovative organisations and SAP implementation partners.

It featured a range of presentations by SAP experts, partners and customers on topics that included:
* The Intelligent Enterprise: from thinking to doing;
* Enabling the Intelligent Enterprise: delivery excellence;
* The Intelligent Supply Chain;
* The Customer Experience Revolution; and
* The Human Revolution: placing people at the heart of the Intelligent Enterprise transformation.

Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman of the Fairfax Africa Fund, was the keynote speaker. He said Ethiopia is in the midst of a transformation that will accelerate its economic development and unlock unprecedented opportunities for growth and prosperity for all its citizens. “Ethiopia’s growing manufacturing sector has already attracted the likes of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, while the country’s aviation industry has grown to become one of the largest in Africa, with Ethiopia Airlines now taking its place as the largest airline on the continent in terms of passengers, destinations, fleet size and revenue. As industries mature, the ability to leverage the latest technologies and accelerate innovation while delivering positive customer experiences will be crucial if organisations are to unlock new global market opportunities and compete successfully. Technology partners such as SAP will play a vital role in enabling the country’s on-going transformation into a powerful player in the global digital economy.”

Guerreiro added that the Ethiopian government has already committed to increasing the technology sector’s contribution to GDP over the next two years. “Government efforts to equip young professionals with skills in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields are already bearing fruit, with 70% of students in higher education now pursuing qualifications in STEM related fields, while initiatives such as Africa Code Week further introduces growing numbers of youth to basic coding skills that will enable them to participate in the digital economy. We look forward to working with our partners and customers in the public and private sector to accelerate the application of technology to solve some of the country’s biggest challenges and take advantage of its greatest opportunities.”