African start-ups have explored the functionalities of mobile and cloud technologies, shaped their applications and used them to build differentiated business models suited to the African markets. They have created new and uniquely African technologies that speak to their lifestyles and complexities, using the infrastructure as a base to deliver key services in ways the rest of the world would never have thought possible; this is largely because, as everyone will agree, Africa has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit.
Some of the challenges, such as limited internet connectivity or access to a reliable power supply, have add fuel to Africa’s innovative energy and creativity. Start-ups continue to develop clever solutions around these obstacles, bringing essential services to their communities; technology is playing a vital role in this. Mobile payments, mobile health services, mobile insurance, among others have pioneered some of the world’s best innovative technologies.
Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa among other countries are leading the way in Africa on the adoption of technology. These countries have given incentives to developers to pioneer breakthrough technologies to address some of the local challenges in their countries.
Leading cities in Africa are increasingly becoming centres for big tech investment and commercially oriented tech start-ups. Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria’s tech sectors are becoming representative of repatriate entrepreneurs reversing some of Africa’s brain drain and IT reshaping the continent’s global linkages in such sectors as energy, agriculture, banking, healthcare, entertainment, transport, fashion among others.
Estimates from African Development Bank are that 54% of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic activity is informal. That’s a massive commercial space without such services as business enterprise software, small business banking, affordable third-party logistics or internet access, presenting a massive opportunity for investment. Technology will continue to be employed to solve long-standing African socio-economic issues touching on social, political, security issues; education, business among others.