Tech in Africa: a success story of growth

Tara Johnson
Tara Johnson
Tech in Africa: a success story of growth

On Tuesday, May 4th we had our 4th Sesamers on Tour stop in collaboration with Afrobytes. Click on this article to see the key takeaways...

This session looked at the story of Africa from to where it was to where it's heading. Moderated by Ammin Youssouf, Co-Founder and CEO of Afrobytes, we had a panel of  three African tech experts to tell the story of Africa's success in tech growth.

Keep reading to get the key takeaways from this engaging panel:

How has Africa transformed?

It has only been in recent years that the global narrative about tech in Africa has changed. Beginning with conversations led by and centred around mobile telecommunications companies, Africa has had a major transformation on the international stage.

Someone who has been in the front seat of this transformation is Andile Masuku, Founder of African Tech Roundup. He remembers the rapid change from "cottage industry" to having visitors from Silicon Valley, and the acknowledgement of Africa as a place for real investments as a whole, not just certain regions.

Globally questions about African tech went from "is there something happening" to "how can we get involved"? What does this transformation mean? Now you need to work to get African tech players interested or in other words, "African bellydancing is over."

For example, Ethiopia has caught the eye of China and has begun to establish deals. With a large population of over 112 million in Ethiopia, they are a great new market to explore. Currently China is working to be responsible for a digital-led future in Ethiopia. Partnerships like this raise questions about types of partnerships and their results. Who is it serving more? What do the partnerships look like? Andile describes the mentality of Ethiopia as "let's grow together"; how does mentality differ from country to country? Is there an equal value exchange? All of these questions are what African Tech Roundup works to explore and explain.

Although Africa has increased their global reputation in tech, there are still many misconceptions in the African tech industry.

In his experience, Andile shared two issues.  One end, people don't think of African tech companies. On another end, people over simplify what's happening. Africa is not just ICT and not just grass roots movements. There is massive complexity and interest within the ecosystem that should be discussed and appreciated.

These misconceptions are one of many reasons why Andile founded African Tech Roundup. From creating audio content from his couch at home to developing a multi-media company, Andile has been able to build a platform to represent an often misunderstood and unrepresented ecosystem.

Recently African Tech Roundup has changed their model to make the project sustainable on its own merits, not just as a lead generator. This new model offering of premium + freemium and more will be revealed on May 25th at Afrobytes 2021.

Why is Ghana the place to be?

Twitter set up their first African HQ in Ghana. Stevie Wonder is moving to Ghana. What is happening with Ghana?

Meet Amma - based in Ghana, Founder of ScaleUp Africa, working with SMEs, agriculture sector, women and youth to build up the tech ecosystem. In her eyes, the past few years in Ghana have been extremely transformative and have created the perfect environment for innovation. It can be attributes to a mix of public and private actions. Things like the government establishment of Year of Return (2019) to encourage diasporans to come to Africa (like Ghana) to settle & invest. Or vibrant policies helping to support private tech hubs across the country. These recent actions have made Ghana the "Gateway to Africa" - easy to do business.

For the Western readers, there are some unique things specific to Ghana. There is a huge opportunity for investment in the AgriTech space (the biggest employer of women). Want to learn more about what innovations are happening in Ghana? Join the Pitch my Country (Ghana) session to learn more.

Thanks to the hard work of the team at Briter Bridges, led by Dario, we are able to access a reliable supply of information on the African tech market. Created with the goal of telling a "brighter" narrative about what happens in "underserved markets", Briter Bridges works with both public and private organizations to research and organize large data sets and put Africa on the global tech map.

Coming up next week, Briter Bridges will release their Francophone in Africa report. Engaging with organizations and investors, this bilingual report has been created to maximize accessibility into the Francophone African tech ecosystem. With over 1000 companies in over 20 countries, this report has been broken down into a variety of digestible sections (like sector, language, investment profile).  

Book your pass to continue this discussion about tech in Africa at Afrobytes 2021 on May 25th!

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