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Morocco-Algeria-Tunisia: the North African IT & Telecom Distribution Channel

Overview of IT & Telecom distribution in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, including essential information to develop indirect sales.

Morocco-Algeria-Tunisia: the North African IT & Telecom Distribution Channel
Macroeconomic data (2014 if not specified)

General Data Macroeconomic Data
Area : 446,550 km² GDP/capita: 3,579.66
Population : 33.92 million  GDP/capita vs. US: 5.84%
HDI : 0.628 GDP growth rate: +2.4%

General Data Macroeconomic Data
Area : 2,381,740 km² GDP/capita: 6,153.87
Population : 38.93 million  GDP/capita vs. US: 10.04%
HDI : 0.736 GDP growth rate: +3.8%

General Data Macroeconomic Data
Area : 163,610 km² GDP/capita: 4,961.03
Population : 11 million  GDP/capita vs. US: 8.09%
HDI : 0.721 GDP growth rate: +2.7%


ICT Market Tendencies

The ICT sector in Maghreb is the most developed in the African region and much influenced by their European neighbours, France, Spain and Italy. Yet, the North African countries are far from achieving a completely rational exploitation of their full potential in the sector.

Morocco is perceived as a centre of technological activities in the region. While productivity in the industry has not yet peaked, ICT products and services still need to become more accessible for regional customers.
The ICT sector includes around 1,500 ICT companies, and that number is expected to triple in the near future. In the telecom area, upgrading access to the domestic market for national operators could represent a good competitive challenge for the current ICT players in the Moroccan market. Growth in the sector is also related to the off-shoring tendency for many IT activities.
The Moroccan distribution channel is dominated by resellers (57%), followed by service providers (28%). French companies control the market due to the common past and language skills. Almost half of the partners sell via traditional shops, 10% sell via internet, but only 1% make use of distributors.

The Tunisian market has also made significant progress recently. The Davos International Report has ranked the country as the IT market leader for Africa and the Maghreb. Exports currently represent half of domestic production in the field.
Tunisia has fewer ICT companies -- around 700 -- with one-third specialized in IT services and engineering (most of them small companies, employing fewer than 20 skilled workers). Reselling is the main activity for 45% of channel partners, 42% are focused on services, while manufacturers represent only 1%. The country with the most developed telecommunications infrastructure in Africa has boosted its IT & Telecom sector through some incentives offered to foreign investors, such as a 50% tax break for IT investors, subsidies and incentives for both hardware and software investments. The public sector also plays an important role. The most important ICT clusters are in El Ghazala Technolopole in the capital region, followed by Sousse and Sfax.

Major investments are planned in telecommunications, focusing on mobile and internet offerings as well as data transmission networks. The proposed services include software development, system integration, website design, network engineering and support.

The Algerian ICT market is characterized by a nine fold revenue increase over the past seven years. However, in the internet era, web content in Algeria remains very restrained and undervalued. The announced reform in the sector and the liberalization process started back in 2006 had a positive impact on job creation and stimulated foreign investment. The United Nations development programme also illustrates the progress in the region.

The Algerian ICT channel is structured as follows: 52% resale, 37% services, 6% software publishing and only 2% for manufacturing. The ICT penetration rate in SMB companies is estimated at less than 50%, although this category is targeted by the majority of the market players. The Algerian hardware and software markets are still in their early development stages.

The two other member states of the Maghreb community are Libya and Mauritania. Libya remains heavily dependent on its natural resources. The growth of the ICT market can denote lots of opportunities in areas such as internet and data processing. As for Mauritania, setting up an ICT business in the country is still difficult.


Morocco-Algeria-Tunisia: the North African IT & Telecom Distribution Channel

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Distribution players: 
- In Algeria: C.B.I. Computer Parts Trading SOUTHCOMP DISTRIBUTION Algérie ; RBC Rafidain Business Center SARL
- In Tunisia: IGL Distribution ; SPG6 SOFTWARE PRODUCTIVITY GROUP SA ; SMART Tunisie SA 

Public organisations & Useful Associations:
Moroccan Federation of Information Technology, Telecommunications and Offshoring (APEBI)



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