AMD opens SA office to help build up connectivity

Computer microchip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has set up an office in South Africa to strengthen its footprint in the country.

AMD chairman and chief executive Hector Ruiz said the decision to open a local office was a result of AMD’s significant growth in the South African market.

"South Africa is becoming increasingly prominent in the global information technology [IT] market, and is vital to AMD’s overall success." As such, he said, AMD was increasing its commitment to South Africa.

AMD would continue defining its success based on working closely with computer manufacturers, distributors, retailers, the government and end users, to ensure it was delivering solutions that best addressed local needs.

South Africa has a rapidly growing personal computer market, with about 1.8 million computers expected to be sold this year.

According to BMI-T’s Quarterly Tracker Report for the fourth quarter of 2006, AMD grew twice as fast as the local market last year, showing 61.3 percent year-on-year unit growth, while the rest of the market showed 28.4 percent growth.

AMD South Africa’s new manager, Imi Mosaheb, said: "As we grow [locally] we will look at how we can participate in black economic empowerment."

He said the group had a number of initiatives in the bag and would roll them out in the next few months.

AMD is running a 50 x 15 initiative to enable affordable internet connectivity to 50 percent of the world’s population by 2015.

According to AMD, less than 20 percent of the world’s 6 billion people currently have access to education, social and economic opportunities through the internet. Africa has 3.6 percent internet penetration, or more than 33.4 million internet users, according to statistics by Internet World, an industry website.

AMD has opened one of its first 50 x 15 internet laboratories in Gugulethu, near Cape Town. It will open computer laboratories in four more schools later this year in partnership with Nedbank.

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AMD opens SA office to help build up connectivity