“We have been in Africa for more than 100 years, we are now rebuilding and building stronger. We are in seven direct countries and we expanding rapidly and we are building the workforce in those countries,” JJ Van Dongen, Philips Africa’s chief executive officer said.
“West Africa is one of our five districts and for us it is really about redefining and rebuilding our position here in West Africa,” he added on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum underway in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
“We continue to grow as we build our organisation share here in Nigeria, Ghana and other countries in West Africa so as to get back to some position we believe we should have in terms of local relevance and local presence and local market.”
The company has been expanding its reach in areas such as healthcare, cooking and lifestyle.
“We have been working with groups like Imaging the World in Uganda and we are looking at exploring the same here in West Africa. We will use ultra sound to reduce mother to child mortality in child birth and we do that early in the stage where we encourage for pregnancy mothers to come for scanning.”
The company has been investing in training local workforce with more than 40 people alone having been employed in West Africa.
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“We intend training home health workers on how to use ultra sound so that we utilise local talent in bring local solutions to the communities.”
“The solution we are bringing include both equipment, skill and cultural change like in Uganda where the father of a child would come and observe the direction the child will be facing for example,” he added.
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Philips has three main research centres globally which are Bangalore, Shanghai and Eindhoven and the company decided to open a local incubation for application centre for Philips in Kenya.
“We realised that with 54 countries, Africa needed tailor made solutions for her unique requirements and this could be around healthcare, cooking to improve people’s lives or hair. In health sector for example, we are working toward developing pneumonia centres.”
BY TRUST MATSILELE