The Technology Industry In Africa Is Growing

Written by Staff
Africa’s technology industry is growing. There has been growth in technology hubs across the continent, growing over 50 percent in the last several years. Computer class in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Photo: africa.com

Africa’s technology industry is rapidly growing. There has been a massive growth in technology hubs across the continent, growing over 50 percent in the last several years.

This growth of technology business in Africa is propped up by the growth of computer engineering talent being trained there. Microsoft alone is spending over $100 million dollars on a development center to employ 500 employees in the next five years.

This trend of technological skills growth in Africa is poised to accelerate, and as more talent becomes available, more companies will be looking to invest.

Story from Interesting Engineering. Story by Trevor English.

Africa, as a whole, is still relatively new to established technology infrastructure. Mainly, due to the multitude of dictatorships in various African countries like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Chad, and others, internet shutdowns are common. This makes predicting investment return for companies quite hard.

The continent also lacks competition in the data space, meaning that the prices of data are significantly higher than in other regions of the world.

The continent is also another half a decade away from having a 4G connection, meaning that wireless data speeds will remain much slower for the time being. However, companies aren’t sitting idly by. Google and Facebook are trying to boost connectivity in the various countries on the continent by surrounding it with high-speed fiber-optic cables.

Currently, there are 643 tech hubs across the continent, with the largest groupings being in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. There’s still a lot more room to grow.

Forty-four percent of the “tech hubs” are incubator facilities, 24 percent are innovation hubs, and 14% are accelerators, according to Forbes.

The biggest hurdles that countries have across the continent are largely what we’ve already discussed, overcoming the technology and data infrastructure that is currently in its infancy. However, having technology hubs across the continent that serve as places to co-work and facilitate innovation. These provide locations for startups to grow and expand on a continent with a lot of intellectual potential.

1.2 billion people live in Africa, and for the large part, the talent there has been underutilized from a global perspective. Previously this was largely due to geography – Africa is quite far away from the rest of the world, and transportation infrastructure is not well established. 

However, with modern technology allowing anyone to work anywhere, improving connectivity in the region is making it easier than ever for companies to risk expanding into new African countries.

Read more at Interesting Engineering.