Tech Leads African Industries Investors Should Watch In 2016

Written by Staff

From Entrepreneur

Emerging markets, particularly those in Africa, should be a central focus for any investor right now. Major brands are establishing footholds in the region, signaling that Africa is the next frontier for investment strategy.

The Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies recently announced that it will open a research, training and innovation facility in Nairobi this year, the latest in a line of think tanks and companies investing in the region. IBM opened its first Africa-based research laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2013. The Royal Philips technology firm opened its own maiden research lab in Nairobi in March 2014.

Each of these landmark events is a testament to the hive of innovation and enterprise developing on the continent. In countries like Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, there’s a renewed appreciation for the role of research and development in economic growth. And, beyond the local benefits, this emphasis on innovation and enterprise poses a promising benefit for investors seeking opportunities in this region.

Here are the key sectors to watch:

  1. Fintech: 

The financial tech industry has proven pivotal to accelerating commerce in Africa during the past decade, and it’s now poised to significantly influence economic development in the coming years.

SokoniSMS64, a new text messaging platform from mobile provider Safaricom, sends farmers updates on market pricing so they can adjust their planting projections. Such innovations provide rural, subsistence-based communities with an unprecedented access to data. This trend is fueling new growth engines for the African economy — along with investments in the region.

  1. Online retail

Despite rapid growth in the wholesale and retail segments of various nations’ economies, online shopping remains a fairly nascent concept, even in ICT- (information and communication technology) savvy markets such as Kenya and Nigeria.

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