Gijima, Walker JV Targets African e-Finance

[Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA] Nasdaq-listed e-business firm Walker announced on Monday
that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with South African IT company
Gijima Info Tech aimed at exploiting the R500-million e-business market for financial
applications.
The agreement, to be known as the Walker Afrika Initiative, will see the U.S. company
use the Gijima client and technology base as a platform to launch it’s e-commerce
products into Africa.

The companies revealed yesterday that they would be targeting the public sector,
parastatal organizations and private sector corporations.
Both companies already have an established presence in this country, a key feature
being a strong link to government organizations and parastatals.

Walker already has existing relationships with SA companies having implemented its
solution for organizations such as Telkom, Eskom, Woolworths, Sanlam, the CSIR and
Old Mutual.
The black-owned Gijima Info Tech already boasts established relationships with public
sector organizations and parastatals including the SA Police Service and the
Departments of Justice, Home Affairs and Correctional Services.

This would appear to suggest that the companies would be making a bid for a slice of
the government IT pie in this country. Gijima CEO Robert Gumede confirms that while
this would form a component of its business strategy, the companies also expect to
garner a significant portion of the large-scale e-finance applications market in Africa
particularly in the banking sector.

Gumede commented that the recent modernization in Africa has paved the road for
financial e-business application technology such as that offered by Walker.
“Banks in Africa need systems and processes that conform to international
standards,” he said.
“With Walker, we plan to dominate these markets.”

Gumede highlights Kenya, Uganda and Ghana as three of the countries favored for
immediate investment, but highlights Mozambique as a particularly promising region,
especially in the banking sector.

Walker CEO Frank Richardson credited the governments from both countries as being
instrumental in the establishment of this JV agreement.
“Our relationship with Gijima is also a tribute to the efforts of the Mbeki-Gore Bilateral
Commission, which has led the way in forging value-adding partnerships between
South Africa and United States companies.”

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