How Africa’s Booming Tech Hubs Are Changing Its Presence In The World
In a world running on technology and digitization, it is hard to imagine places where there’s no access to the internet and having computers at home is still a novelty. However, the harsh truth is that such places still exist in the world. There are many countries where technological advancement has either just begun or still in its initial stages. South Africa is one of those places that has seen an incredible technological growth in the recent years. Once known for its tribal culture and slow development, South Africa is fast becoming the tech hub of the African continent. But why is it such a big thing when the same is happening all over the world? It’s because Africa’s rapid tech growth is very recent and incredibly fast. Let us take a look at the tech scene in Africa and its impact on the rest of the world.
The Tech Scene in Africa
There was a time not long ago when having a computer at home was a big thing in many cities and villages in South Africa. However, that is changing at a rapid pace with the recent shift in the technological outlook in the country. From big tech hubs to small computer shops, South Africa’s tech scene is becoming more encompassing every day. The number of tech hubs that opened in the country over the last year is amazing in itself. While major cities like Lagos, Nairobi, and Cape Town have emerged as global technology centers, other cities have also seen significant growth in the number of active tech hubs. With many tech giants like Facebook, Google, Alibaba, etc. investing in the growing African tech industry and collaborative government programs with countries like China and US, South Africa is on the road to technological excellence.
History of Technical Development
The moniker Silicon Savannah that describes the rapid digitization of Africa is quite a recent one. Indeed, the whole tech movement in Africa is pretty recent. The origin of Africa’s tech movement lies mainly in Kenya. After Kenya, others like Nigeria, South Africa, etc. joined in the fray and led to the development of Africa’s tech industry. Whether it is the giant tech hubs of Kenya or the smaller internet cafés and computer shops cape town, the tech scene has undergone dramatic changes in the past year alone. However, it all started in 2007 when Kenya got global recognition for its mobile money app M-Pesa. Since then, Africa has been moving forward with new start-ups and tech industries bringing in more revenue every year.
Reasons for Late Development
All the latest developments in the industrial and technological sectors make one wonder why all this advancement came so late in Africa. The continent obviously has a lot of potential to become one of the leaders in innovation and technology in the world.
So, why has it taken so long for the technological sector in Africa to start prospering? Ever since the 1990s, the stage has been set for Africa to take steps forward towards development. However, except for a few countries, the continent has failed to take advantage of the various opportunities. Despite having investments and support from other countries, African governments kept focusing on solving domestic problems instead of planning for the future. They have not been able to utilize the finances to develop the industrial and technological sectors. This is one of the main reasons why African countries have been slow on the tech an industrialization scene.
Impact of the Current Boom
However, all that changed recently when some startups took the initiative to bring technological advancements to their countries. Today many key tech trends are bringing a positive change to the continent. The increasing use of Smartphone, increasing number of early stage investment funds, the increasing number of new startups, and encouragement to innovative technologies are some changes that are making an impact in the world. The vast numbers of tech hubs in the continent have become the main areas for startup formations, building digital skills, holding major IT events and other IT activity in the respective countries. Africa has seen the largest global increase in internet usage in the last few years. It is also leading in the increase in the number of active tech hubs and has become the fastest growing tech market in the world.
When it comes to size or monetary values, Africa is nowhere close to Silicon Valley. However, if you take a look at the growing tech sector, increasing startups, and the expansive digital innovation in African countries, you’ll realize just how rapidly Africa’s tech market is growing. And it’s because of this advancement that the world is being forced to sit up and take notice of Africa’s emerging tech ecosystem.