Africa’s Great Digital Divide: You’re More Likely to Have Access to the Internet as a Wealthy Man in a Coastal Country
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Tech start-ups coming out of Africa have blossomed in the past few years, putting the continent on the digital innovation map. Two examples are Kenya’s mobile money transfer service M-Pesa which is now being offered by Vodafone in Asian markets and Ushahidi – a crowdsourcing platform that has monitored everything from disasters to elections and used the world over.
Recently, at the 14th annual Innovation Africa Digital Summit, a new crop of African tech start-ups took to the stage – everything from apps which plan train journeys to insurance comparison platforms – showing just how much growth there is around ICT in Africa.
This growth is accelerated by the increases in funding that African tech startups have been receiving. According to data compiled by Disrupt Africa, in 2015 this was in excess of $185million. The top three destinations for tech investors being South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya both in terms of numbers of deals and total amount of funding.
The flurry of growth in this sector has had McKinsey predict that Africa’s iGDP should grow to at least 5 – 6% and, if the internet achieves the same kind of scale and impact as the spread of mobile phones, it could account for as much as $300 billion of total GDP while producing a leap forward in economic and social development.