Sven Beckmann, Intel GM SSA

Africa has a special place in Intel, these are the words of Intel General Manager for South Sub-Saharan Africa. He was referring to the position that Africa has in the world as a high growth market with numerous opportunities. He quoted a few statistics showing how Africa is rising in all levels. These are:

  • Africa has 1 out of 10 fastest growing economies come from Africa
  • Total 2G and 3G penetration in Africa is 70%
  • Africa also gets foreign direct investments from 3 top IT companies, these being samsung Huawei and ZTE.

Kenya as a focus country here is actually fourth in the internet usage in Africa, actually ahead of South Africa which is a second world country. This goes to show how Kenya is indeed growing fast in terms of broadband adoption. And the same reflects in the way Kenya is a high growth are in terms of device usage, smartphones and other computing devices. Sven did quote a time ago when he came into Kenya and the hotel he was checked in, the Hilton had no hotel Wi-Fi, things have changed now and we even have public transport vehicles for the common citizen to get connected.

So what does Intel want to do in Kenya

Sven indicated that people naturally know Intel for their chips powering their computing devices, but he made sure to alert us of the fact that Intel is cultivating partnerships with strategic partners to add value to the community which is also their customers. Some of these partners are higher learning institutions like Strathmore and University of Nairobi to provide hardware, training and support.

Other partners are the innovation hubs, initiially with iHub and plans to spread out to other hubs like iLab Africa. Previously Intel requested for a World Bank Grant to get subsidies for laptops for University students in Kenya, if you remember, this was the Wezesha program with other partners including Kenya ICT Board.

Intel is working to get developers to register to the Intel developer Zone that globally has over 14,000 software vendors. The Intel developer zone has all the tools needed to develop Android and Windows apps optimized for Intel Processor Powered Tablets, PCs, Convertibles and smartphones.

Sven quoted that the two Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 devices launched within this week the Galaxy Tab 3 8 inch and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 are Intel Powered. Other devices launched by ASUS in several device categories, convertibles, smartphones and tablets are also powered by Intel, this goes to show that there is huge acceptance for Intel chips in devices and Intel will assist developers in optimizing their existing and new applications to best performance on Intel powered devices.

Danie Steyn, Intel Kenya GM reminded us that Intel Acquired McAfee so that they can built security from within Hardware as opposed to what we have been used to, within the software. That way Intel powered devices will have better security that is chip embedded.