The African continent is blessed with an abundance of highly skilled and qualified human capital. These talented individuals are inclined towards acquiring world-class IT knowledge to compete with the rest of the world in terms of IT. Therefore, considering the recent developments of tech in Africa it should not be wrong to harbor optimistic thoughts for the future of tech in the continent.
Could the next Silicon Valley be located somewhere in Africa?
Well, let’s not go that far. Not now, but maybe one day. Africa could be to the 21st century what China has been to the late 20th: a region that comes from behind and then races ahead thanks to sound policies and the urgency of overcoming challenges. Just like China had to rebuild everything after the Cultural Revolution, Africa may not have a choice in choosing their direction if they want to seize the opportunity of economic development in the Entrepreneurial Age. African entrepreneurs are deploying much-needed infrastructures for retail, manufacturing, and financial services. Young African graduates facing hurdles from immigration authorities in the West are heading back to their home countries to boost the local ecosystems’ momentum. Meanwhile, large foreign tech companies, both from the US and China, are flocking to the continent to seize the opportunity of future growth, partnering with African governments and local ecosystems.
Growth of tech ecosystems in Africa
The African tech ecosystem is like no other. With half of the continent’s population under 19 years old, mobile technology booming, traditional infrastructure still patchy across much of the continent, and population growth driving the development of megacities, the digital economy has near limitless potential to make Africa the tech success story of the 21st Century. According to Briter Bridges, the number of active tech hubs (currently active organizations with a physical local address that offer facilities and support for tech and digital entrepreneurs) in Africa has almost doubled over the past few years from 314 in 2016 to 618 in 2019. This has sprung from multiple investment sources, including venture funds, development finance, corporate involvement as well as ever-growing, innovative communities. The greatest concentration of tech hubs is in Nigeria (85), South Africa (80), Egypt (56) and Kenya (50). This is a great indicator of tech development that is taking place in Africa, and tech-oriented companies are dead set on reaping the benefits in human potential as well as products and know-how. Therefore, Africa’s economic renaissance is closer than we think.
Africa and the West – Is it a fruitful collaboration?
Africa is so close, geographically speaking. It’s in the same time zone as Europe. It has several languages in common including English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, etc. It’s even more interesting for Europeans because, like Europe, Africa is fragmented and this could lead African entrepreneurs to discover a playbook that could serve as an inspiration for Europe. Finally, despite its fragmentation, Africa as a continent could give room for exponential growth to any European entrepreneur willing to expand their tech-driven business across the Mediterranean Sea.
Furthermore, As the Western world is getting older, Africa is basically the only continent with a population that’s growing fast. To quote Wikipedia, “As of 2016, the total population of Africa is estimated at 1.225 billion, representing 17% of the world’s population. According to UN estimates, the population of Africa may reach 2.5 billion by 2050 (about 26% of the world’s total) and nearly 4.5 billion by 2100 (about 40% of the world’s total)” Therefore, the high potential African youth perfectly complements the ageing population of the West.
Zwarttech’s role towards boosting Africa-West collaboration
We are a social impact-driven company building uniform and strategic relationships within the tech sector between Africa and West Europe + Northern America which will result in sustainable economic benefits for both. We know the competitive landscape, we exist actively on both ends of the spectrum enabling us to pinpoint the pain from the western perspective as well as on the African and expertise end. Allowing us to derive working, strategic, and mutually sustainable solutions. We have seen the potential and have built onto a workable model. We have therefore created a platform where both entities exist to solve one another’s pains. Therefore, we bridge this gap between both continents by outstaffing senior IT experts from Africa to the West. We also outsource and outplace from Africa to the West. Click on this link and check out the extensive range of IT services that we offer.
Thus, as the West focuses on its own digital infrastructure, it should also look abroad for lessons and opportunities and ensure that a focus on tech should be at the heart of any West-Africa partnership in order to ensure a win-win on both ends.