Tech Entrepreneurship in the African context
Across the continent, information and communication technology (ICT) is enabling socioeconomic developments. ICT has opened up new avenues for information exchange and improvement of business efficiency and costs. A key actor in this new wave of technology adoption are the tech and tech-enabled startups. The tech entrepreneurship culture has penetrated deep across the continent as evinced by the increased 442 active incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces in Africa compared to 314 in 2016. These growing tech communities across Africa will continue to power the continent’s digital revolution whilst facilitating systemic societal and cultural changes.
Another key influencer for the growing impact of this digital revolution is the increased internet and mobile access penetration across the continent. Africa continues to hold long-term promise for investors and entrepreneurs as the continent is driving growth in global internet connections with connection rates now up to 28% —up from 2.1% in 2005.
Increasingly more high-level government attention is being allocated towards these startups, through updates in digital policy. The African Union has begun drafting continental recommendations for its digital policy with guiding inputs from leading startup ecosystem leaders.
The gender-gap in the market is fast closing in with Mastercard’s Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship for 2018 depicting the vibrant market for women-led businesses in Africa.
However, despite the conducive environment for the startups and a strong uptick in funding opportunities for startup, the pace of funding is not congruent to the emergence, innovation and growth of the tech startups. A large pool of Entrepreneurs still seek additional support to secure investment and scale their businesses.