Moneybiz - Uganda: South African Firm Boosts Local Technology Sector
African Business and Technology
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Uganda: South African Firm Boosts Local Technology Sector Thursday, 18 Nov 2010

Uganda, Mtn, Zain, South Africa, BuhleniNew Vision: Buhleni Group, a multi million dollar South African infrastructure technology firm, is moving into East Africa.

The decision by the high-value telecommunications service provider to venture into the region comes at a time when leading telecoms in Uganda are on an expansive drive to increase penetration and push for the low end of the pyramid, such as customers in the countryside, amidst increasing competition.

According to Yesse Oenga, the Zain chief executive, the firm plans to build over 400 new masts across the country.

MTN will also add several base stations to enable the telecom giant to complete its network presence in Uganda.

"These present opportunities for high-skilled and high-value firms like Buhleni, which have experience in this kind of work," said a telecom expert from South Africa.

The company is a good example of the African renaissance driven by Africans sweeping across the continent, especially with the model of partnerships. Founded in 2007, this hi-tech firm is a symbol of this.

Sibusiso Mvelase (pictured), Buhleni chief executive officer, said the company's main edge is in identifying global systems manufacturers excelling in their field and then building top end stations that enable customers to maximise earnings.

"We utilise these sub-systems in customer's stations by including design, integration and maintenance of the clients systems, thus maximising the revenue generation capability of the customer," said Sibusiso.

He, however, called on governments to employ regulations that support young people.

Buhleni's challenges are similar to those enterprises across the continent face, ranging from lack of financial access with even South African asking for high-value collateral.

The firm hopes to use its southern African experience to help the rapidly-expanding telecom market in Uganda.

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