The impact of the Computer Warehouse Group and her founder CEO, Austin Okere, on the African IT industry cannot be overemphasized.
Just recently, the company was ranked among the top 50 Technology Companies in West Africa at the 5th IT Edge West African Convergence Forum 2012.
CWG also bagged the Award of the ICT Company of the year by Technology Africa.
Technology Africa, organizers of Titans of Tech. Award also recognized Austin Okere with the award “Technology Africa Personality of the Year 2012”.
The annual award recognizes those who are making a difference by their contributions either directly or indirectly to increasing African content in the ICT space in the Emerging African Markets.
With an annual turnover of over $120m and staff compliment of 650 across Africa; in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon, Okere and CWG have contributed immensely towards the growth of ICT on the continent.
Okere’s ardent interest in inspiring young entrepreneurs has been globally recognised by his invitation by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Center to lecture at the Columbia Business School in 2009 and 2010 and also by Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he enumerated the amassing success story of the Computer Warehouse Group.
The journey to these achievement has been documented in a Case Study by the Columbia Business School, and has been used in various Entrepreneurship Development Centres and Business Schools in Nigeria, US, Tanzania, and Kenya.
Presenting the award to Okere, Senator Gbenga Obadara, chairman, Senate committee on Privatization, commended the outstanding achievement in the following words “We are proud of you and you have indeed positively portrayed Nigeria’s image globally”.
Okere graduated from the University of Lagos in 1986 with B.Sc. (second upper division) in Computer Sciences, and also an Executive MBA from the International Graduate School of Management (IESE), Spain.
He was in 2010 named the “Most Outstanding ICT Personality of the Decade” by ICT Watch Africa. He had earlier in 2003 received the “IT Personality of the Year” Award by the Nigerian IT & Telecom Awards (NITTA) as well as Outstanding Personality of the years 1998 & 1999 by the Guardian Newspaper Limited.
Okere built his business from an initial annual turnover of under a million dollars, to now $120 million with a staff strength of about 550 professionals.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria and serves in many other professional bodies including Frontier 100 (Initiative for Global Development IGD), Nigeria-South Africa Chamber, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and Nigerian Computer Society (NCS).
One of his strongest passions is motivating younger ones, and inspiring them to a fuller life. He is happily married with children.