Ghana’s Soft trumps Microsoft

BBC has an encouraging for all the software companies competing against Microsoft.

Starting with a battered old personal computer in his bedroom, Mr Hesse developed Ghana’s own software firm which, for the moment at least, is holding Microsoft at bay.

“No, no, we only use Soft,” says the hotel receptionist where I am staying, when I ask if they use Microsoft. The shops around Accra say the same.

“We’re taking it industry by industry,” Mr Hesse says, who has already designed e-SuSu software for microfinance projects and the Ndua system for Ghana’s timber industry.

Then, of course, there are the plans to expand into wider Africa, with business partnerships already set up in Nigeria, the Gambia, Senegal and Kenya.

“Technology is the only way for Africa to get rich,” Mr Hesse says, “we don’t have a proper infrastructure and we can’t compete in manufacturing…”

“But if you put me behind a PC and tell me to write software for a Chinese customer, then I can compete brain for brain with anyone trying to do the same thing in the US.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.