- The Government of Zimbabwe (through ZARNet – a 100% state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal & Courier Services) has acquired 51% of Portnet Software (Private) Limited (“Portnet Software”).
- Portnet Software was established in 2005 and provides the full range of SAP software services and solutions in Zimbabwe and across Africa. Portnet Software (through its lead promoters) has been involved in significant SAP projects in Zimbabwe (including the Public Finance Management System) and other African countries including Nigeria and Kenya.
- The acquisition provides Government of Zimbabwe (including all parastatals and state owned enterprises and private businesses) with an alternative provider of SAP solutions and services and counters the dominance of foreign owned SAP providers in Zimbabwe.
- This acquisition also provides a solution to the potential risks highlighted by the Minister of ICTs, Postal and Courier Services , Hon Supa Mandiwanzira, during the E-Government conference held in Nyanga in August 2015, which included the significant security risk of allowing foreign owned SAP providers to access sensitive Government information on Zimbabwe. The minister said in mischievous hands, SAP providers could be a platform for mining economic intelligence against the country.
- It is expected that, with the acquisition, Portnet Software will become the preferred provider of SAP solutions to Government (including all parastatals and state owned enterprises) and offer much needed competition in the private sector.
- Portnet Software intends to expand into other African countries leveraging on its skills and the excellent political capital that Zimbabwe, through His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, enjoys across the continent.
- The acquisition allows the Zimbabwe government to retain skills and jobs locally while curtailing the outflow of revenues which happens when it secures services from foreign-owned companies.