By Nmachi Jidenma
In the last few years, the African technology space has received increasing spotlight in the international press. Led by innovations in Kenya such as M-Pesa, the renowned mobile money platform and Ushahidi, the Kenyan crowd-sourcing platform that maps crisis information, the continent has received a slew of positive media spotlighting these technologies. This is welcome given the continent’s prior problems with attracting negative press globally. The African ICT space appears to be one of the key sectors leading the rebranding of the continent as a place of opportunity and not solely of war, hunger and misery.
This is exciting and given the steady efforts at expanding broadband access in various countries, these positive ICT stories are likely to continue.
In the evolving narrative in the African ICT sector, certain trends appear to be emerging. As mentioned earlier, Kenya and particularly, Nairobi is becoming a hub for technological innovation. Its early successes appear to have piqued the interest of developers, entrepreneurs and corporations and set off what seems to be a culture of coders, technology entrepreneurs and innovators. Global technology companies like Google, Cisco and Nokia Siemens have set up shop in Nairobi as their continent-wide headquarters and the stage seems set for the churning out of Africa’s next technology talents and startups from the city.
Similarly, South Africa appears to have steadily set itself apart as a leading African technology hub.