African startups have given investors a reprieve in the wake of a commodity prices slump that has hit currencies in large economies like Nigeria and South Africa, and led to a significant reduction in production in the mining sector in Zambia. African tech startups received $185 million in funding from investors last year, while analysts predict a boom in the industry this year.
“There has been a big shift from an almost exclusive focus on extractive sectors to those such as consumers and renewable energy,” Bloomberg quoted Michael Lalor, the head of Ernst 7 Young’s Africa Business Centre.
Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, IBM, Facebook Inc., Oracle Corp., Uber Technologies and Google are some of the global giants in the technology and communication industry that have set operations in Africa. Leading ecosystems in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya have spurred innovation, attracting investors. The recent boom in internet penetration and mobile phone network in sub-Saharan Africa provides a potentially rich yet unexploited market for global information communication and technology firms.
An investor boom has led to unprecedented growth in the continent’s tech startups. Technology hubs across Africa have doubled in the last one year. There are at least 314 tech hubs spread in 42 nations. More than half are located in Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria. The tech hubs have provided alternative solutions in the health, energy, transport, financial and consumer goods sectors and increased job opportunities for Africa’s youth population.