South Africa trade mission yields €15m in deals for Ireland

15 Nov 2011

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O'Sullivan, TD

Several Irish technology companies are among the firms to have secured contracts and strategic alliances worth more than €15m across various business sectors as part of this past week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa. 

The trade mission, which included 28 companies, marked a major drive to increase the scale of Irish exports to South Africa and the wider sub-Saharan region. 

Minister of State for Trade and Development Jan O’Sullivan, TD, who led the mission with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland to South Africa, announced that Enterprise Ireland will soon open an office for the first time in the Johannesburg region. The new office will help Irish companies to win new business, secure alliances, build relationships and networks, and establish a long-term presence in the market.   

“South Africa is one of the most sophisticated business environments in Africa and the importance of the trade mission for building Ireland’s exports in the area and creating jobs at home cannot be over emphasised,” O’Sullivan said. “Irish companies are winning more and more business in the region and the potential for continued growth is tremendous.”

Among the achievements by Irish technology companies during the trade mission are:

  • EirGen Pharma, based in Waterford, announced a deal of €3m in a partnership with Equity Pharmaceuticals, a South African pharmaceuticals company, to develop and commercially supply five oncology products from its facility in Waterford.
  • Clarigen, the HR software solutions company, announced a €150,000 contract with Silburn Drake, the Pretoria-based human resources organisation that will now rollout the Clarigen HR management solution to its client base within the South African market.
  • Azotel, the Cork-based technology company, announced a contract with Wirulink Pty Ltd through Multisource, its SA distributor. The value of contracts through Multisource is in the region of €3m over the next two years. Azotel also launched its Broadband Franchise model for Africa during the trade mission. 
  • TERMINALFOUR, the Dublin-based web content management company (WCM), won its first African client – South Africa’s Rhodes University. TERMINALFOUR’s WCM solution will play a key role in the creation of Rhodes University’s new website.
  • Bannow Exports, based in Gorey, Co Wexford, announced the transfer of its technology to South Africa with the establishment of Bannow Africa to provide package sewage treatment plants and environmental protection equipment. 
  • MindLeaders ThirdForce, an e-learning provider, has partnered with a new South African channel partner to spearhead the growing channel partner programme, which makes one of the world’s most extensive portfolios of high quality e-learning available across Africa.
  • AdaptiveMobile, a mobile security firm, has completed a mobile content filtering, anti-spam and anti-virus protection project with MTN Nigeria, enabling the operator to protect its network and subscribers from undesirable content.

Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland’s head of International Sales and Partnering, said South Africa is recognised as the regional economic powerhouse in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Irish exports to South Africa grew by a very impressive 23pc last year,” he said. “This trade mission is about building on that success, assisting more Irish companies to win more business and thereby increase exports, which will directly sustain and create jobs in Ireland.”