Africa Tech Hubs Strengthening Tech Ecosystem
There is a tech boom going on in Africa, like almost everywhere else. However, the growth of the space is incredibly rapid in the continent. Accordingly, in 2019 there were 618 active tech hubs, while in 2018, this figure was only 442. That is a 40% leap forward. Tech hubs are defined as organizations that are currently offering facilities and support for digital and tech entrepreneurs. About a quarter of these are only co-working spaces, however, they play an important social role and serve as a space for innovation and collaboration. Unfortunately, 2020 figures were not available at the time of this writing.
Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya Lead
These four countries form what has been dubbed Africa’s Innovation Quadrangle. Nigeria leads the way with 85 tech hubs active in 2019, while South Africa came in second with 80 during the same period. These spaces offer venues for collaboration and exposure to potential investors. Morocco and Tunisia are also notable participants in North Africa, with over 50 tech hubs between them.
“Some cities in these top countries such as Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi and Cairo have become true hotspots for tech and innovation.”
Some cities in these top countries such as Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi and Cairo have become true hotspots for tech and innovation. Cairo, for example, is a favourite among large pools of investors and leading venture capital funds such as Algebra Ventures, A15, Sawari Ventures and also many promising start-ups. Even cities such as Kumasi in Ghana, Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, Lubumbashi in the DRC and Mombasa in Kenya are now waking up to this emerging trend and joining the tech hub boom.
Creating Unlimited Potential
The expansion of Africa’s tech hubs has progressed to a degree of maturity that is sufficient for better collaboration and coordination between themselves and entrepreneurs, angel networks and other investors and donors. They are also creating a ripe environment for foreign companies to set up shop, which will further open doors for innovation and collaboration. These developments will be crucial for Africa’s economy as we move forward in the post COVID era, which has become ever more reliant on digital technology. With the right support from governments, donors and investors, the potential for growth in Africa’s tech space is unlimited.
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