Nigeria Banking Specialists Computer Warehouse to Make Uganda Regional Hub


Nairobi — Nigerian information technology firm Computer Warehouse Group Ltd has established operations in Uganda, its designated regional hub, with an eye on emerging opportunities in the oil and gas, banking and telecommunications sector.

Through its Ugandan base, the firm intends to exploit growth opportunities in Rwanda, Kenya and Southern Sudan in a bid to extend market share beyond its West African domain.

"We are looking at exploiting outsourcing opportunities in the Ugandan market through assisting local firms with non-core functions like data management. "We are focusing on support services to the oil and gas, telecommunications and banking sectors in the East African region," Computer Warehouse Group chief executive Austin Okere said.

Backed by over 18 years' experience in the Nigerian market, CWG hopes to exploit existing gaps in the local banking market that include system integration. Most banks have signed up for utility bill payment facilities meant to boost convenience for clients but the lack of interconnection links leaves a critical service gap due to delays in transmitting transaction entries.

Introduction of integrated payment systems between banks and utility firms would boost client convenience in the local market, according to CWG.

"Opportunities for system integration exist for banks and utility companies to merge transaction platforms that are more efficient and less costly. This would minimise transaction times for local clients while reducing costs for the partnering institutions," CWG's country manager for Uganda, Michael Manzi, explained.

In addition, CWG is keen on tapping into the opportunities in data recovery services for local banks. Despite sharp growth in branch network and staff numbers, data recovery facilities are still hampered by limited staff and high operating costs with individual banks prefering in-house infrastructure to shared resources.

The firm's choice of Uganda as its regional hub was influenced by its growing pool of IT talent and strategic geographical location in regard to Rwanda and Southern Sudan.

CWG is a leading supplier of hardware and software solutions in the Nigerian market, with a niche in banking system software, provision of automated teller machines (ATMs) operating platforms, data recovery centres and administration of data servers.

CWG currently boasts extensive penetration in both the banking and telecommunication sectors in Nigeria. For example, CWG supports 3,500 out of the 9,000 ATMs in Nigeria and also supports 22 banks out of the country's 24 with very small aperture terminals (VSat) and fibre networks.

Eleven of these banks are supplied with Finacle software sourced through CWG. The company also provides data server administration services to MTN Nigeria and Ghana. Its annual turnover is estimated at $240 million. It has partnered with various global IT brands such as Dell, Cisco, Infosys Technologies, Oracle, and NetApp.

The company's strategic focus is driven by unfolding opportunities in the banking, telecommunications, oil and gas sector that are reflected in increased appetite for superior and cutting edge software solutions needed to maximise customer convenience and efficiency.