Lithuanian IT entrepreneurs are increasingly looking to Africa to grow their business and develop new products, with a range of companies from Lithuania already building a strong track record of success on the continent.
“The goal of digitising their economy in most cases is promoted by the African states themselves. The number of internet and mobile services‘ users in Africa continues to grow so the demand for diverse technological solutions grows as well. International organizations such as the United Nations, the African Development Bank and the World Bank emphasize ICT as a priority area, which means that projects with ICT components will be given more funding. All this creates a favourable environment for new businesses to get involved,” said Africa consulting and research center co-founder Eugenija Kovaliova.
There already are a number of Lithuanian companies successfully implementing decisions in African markets. Company ActiveSec was brought to Africa in 2010 by the popularity of their product – social network Eskimi popularity.
“Eskimi currently has more than 21 million users, and the largest markets are Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa,” said the head of the company Vytautas Paukštys.
Paukštys said Lithuanian companies are put off by the lack of information and stereotypes from entering the African markets.
“However, it is important to see Africa not as a continent but as more than 50 different countries with more than one billion population. Each of them present totally different opportunities, risks, people and businesses. However, like any other developing region, Africa is full of opportunities,” said Paukštys.
Last year ActiveSec developed a new advertising platfrom for African countries that allows businesses to reach more than 160 million customers across the continent.
IT businesses have great potential in Africa as the IT sector rapidly develops in the continent, experts and entrepreneurs already established in Africa say.
More than four years ago the marketing and internet solutions developer ADEO WEB entered the South African market.
“When drawing up business development strategies, we try to access the markets of developed countries in Scandinavia and Western Europe, while they are already looking to the African countries. Therefore, Africa could be a double step forward for Lithuanian ICT companies, although it may be twice as difficult,” said the head of ADEO WEB Paulius Nagys.