Understanding the Evolving Tech Ecosystem and the Rise of Opportunity in Africa

The world has become a global village, and people are hyperaware of events happening anywhere, regardless of geographical distance. Today, the advancement in technology has facilitated us in several ways, and we have access to news at the tip of our fingers.

But make no mistakes, borders may be disappearing, but differences still remain today.

One such curious case is Africa, the second largest continent in the world, yet the countries comprising it lack developmental and economic success. Despite the common perception of  African countries, their potential is vastly underestimated by many.

The rapid growth of the African population and market offers to narrate a different future altogether. The significant opportunities for businesses, in the context of declining global economic growth, have been attracting investors from worldwide, particularly tech startups.

While technological advancements are spreading across the African continent at an inexorable pace, the emerging digital transformation of the countries and its facets has become a curious case for the world. But, honestly, it’s just sheer brilliance, keeping up with the fast-paced times.

In this article, we outline the magnitude of African business opportunities and understand how the rise of opportunities in Africa will aid in sustainable, profitable ventures.

Determining the demand and growth pace of the tech market

Countries in Africa have the potential to be future tech superpowers with an expanding tech startup ecosystem, but they still lag far behind the rest of the world. The continent has already been on the leading edge of using technology and is home to the world’s largest free-trade area.

The potential for tech in Africa is limitless. Even though investing in African tech startups can seem like a risky venture, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Delving into details about profitable investment, funding can promote new ideas and merge companies into businesses that are growing globally.

Securing funds for an African tech start-up is a critical milestone. Despite the absence of the internet and electricity, the one billion people living on the continent are incredibly talented, intelligent, and hardworking. The African people are the reason their continent is a land of great potential and possibilities. Africa harbors exceptional prospects for growth, especially in tech. According to Endeavor Nigeria, Africa’s digital economy is anticipated to reach $712 billion by 2050. Marking a whopping 83% growth, Africa is experiencing increased internet penetration and an increased equity round closing rate.

The last two years have seen the African ecosystem encountering an increase in funding opportunities. This has been possible due to the increase in the size of the rounds from venture capital. Moreover, a consistent rise in investors has also vastly contributed to the continent’s betterment. Several contributors and investors have been increasingly interested in Africa, particularly Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya.

While the world came to a standstill during the pandemic, African-based tech startups have bounced back, and their applause-worthy for how they have been trailblazing in the tech sphere. While some news and social media news might be touted as exaggerated marketing, the stats don’t lie, and the figure openly showcases how tech startups in Africa are not going anywhere anytime soon with investments.

Diversity, talented youth, and quality of innovation

Africans have recognized technology as a problem-solving tool. They have continued to leverage the sustainability of tech-driven solutions to their fullest, hence the growing industry. The aforementioned solutions have been helpful in resolving the overwhelming problem of unemployment in African countries. So, one can expect a major reduction in continent-wide crises.

Moreover, the rise of tech startups has led to the provision of jobs. With the increase of mobile phones and the internet, Africa is experiencing rapid adoption of the digital world.

The demand for tech talents has been massive, and keeping up with technological advancements; a prominent rise has been noted. Several tech hubs are ensuring that the younger lot develop the required skillset and further perfect their craft. As a result, great tech companies have increased as a result.

The gradual growth of an enabling environment

Africa is emerging as a significant source of software engineering talent and is home to the fastest-growing population of developers. The increase in global start-up space has led to a rise in the demand for young, talented workers.

Noticing the talent, Microsoft plans to open its first development centers in Africa in 2022 and will hire 100 full-time African developers by 2023. Moreover, initiatives such as Women in Tech Africa are equipping females with skills and opportunities aimed at reducing gender disparity.

The leaders should accelerate the adoption of forward-thinking policies. They must provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that enable an environment for innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors to operate, grow and thrive in.

The rapid increase in investments

Significant investments in Africa’s tech ecosystem ($100,000 or more) have come from outside Africa. Only 20% of venture investments in African startups are from Africa-based investors.

High-profile individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Case, and Tim Draper are investing in African tech start-ups. Leading figures in the global tech industry deem African startups worthwhile.

On the outside, this may look bleak, but Africa poses an opportunity for tech investors as it has the opportunity to grow substantially in contrast to continents with developed countries. Global tech Investors, like Google and Microsoft, have recognized this and so continue to invest in African tech. This continues to reinstate the rising opportunities in Africa.

Conclusion

With a supportive business environment, funding flows, and strong connections, Africa can become a tech superpower. Leaders can follow the path to build thriving, competitive tech startup ecosystems that would ultimately generate world-changing innovations. I have said it before, and I will say it again, Tech in African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Egypt definitely have an exciting future.

Khalil Halilu
Khalil Halilu

Techpreneur and polo enthusiast, Khalil Halilu, founded ShapShap and The CANs Park in Nigeria. After discovering his newly found love for technology and sustainable living, Khalil launched his passion project to provide West Africa’s first eco-friendly technological hub. Through his initiatives, he is providing a turning point and unique perspective to the African youth, motivating them to take charge of their lives. Khalil belonged to a small town in Nigeria called Kano and used to sell ice blocks. Khalil continues to launch many initiatives and eco-friendly programs to enable Nigeria to move forward.

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