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Shaheryar Mian

Degree:

EMBA

Location:

Canada

Industry:

Real Estate and Finance

Year:

Jan 2019 - Sept 2020

By Shaheryar Mian

The latest on Africa’s tech-sector and entrepreneurship

Africa has been long referred to as the “next Frontier”. The continent’s diversity, culture, business opportunities, entrepreneurship, and youth are celebrated yearly at several universities around the world through Africa focused events and conferences. This blog post will cover some of the latest news and trends related to entrepreneurship, tech sector, and youth in the continent.

Tech hubs in Africa are focused on incubating the next generation with more than 600 tech hubs that include accelerators and co-working spaces. Among them is the CoCreation Hub in Lagos in the Yaba neighborhood – considered the Silicon Valley of Nigeria and the birthplace of the award winning BudgIT that helps citizens track politicians’ spending (The Africa Report).

Naadiya Moosaji of Venture Burn believes that female founders of Africa will contribute billions of dollars to the economy of the continent. According to the IFC, only $30 million of investment went to female founders in Africa – a fraction of the $130 billion invested in US ventures in 2019 alone. World Bank data showed that start-ups operated by male founders have six-times more capital than their female counterparts in ten African countries. However, Moosaji reports that these figures are not representative of Africa alone; female founders in the US and UK for instance received 2.2% and 1% of the total venture funding respectively. A report by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that if women entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship equally, the growth in global GDP could be 3% – 6% which translates to $5 trillion to the global economy. A similar trend in Africa would follow.

In January 2020, the UK government announced an exciting initiative to invite African tech firms to join a UK-led growth project. The initiative, ‘Go Global’ is open to start-ups from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Gary Stewart, the co-founder of The Nest called “Africa the fastest growing tech hotspots in the world” and shared his thoughts from Go Global Africa 2019: “I was blown away by the level of ambition and energy. I am certain that 2020 will be even better”. Nigeria’s tech sector contributes 10% to the economic output of the country and is projected to create three million jobs by 2021. Kenya’s tech sector in comparison contributes 11% to the country’s economic output and is considered the most vibrant in Africa (Government of the United Kingdom).

The Africa Business Forum 2020 hosted by the Oxford Africa Business Alliance is an exciting gathering of founders, investors, and leaders to showcase the opportunities, challenges, and potential of the youth in the continent. Everyone attending and the participants, I wish you well.

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