Is Rwanda in Line to Become One of Africa’s Major Tech Hubs?
By Matt Davis
For the past few decades, Africa has been changing. Despite a history of setbacks ranging from colonialism, corruption, and civil wars, countries in the continent have begun to see growing infrastructure and investment from foreign companies and a slew of new, local startups.
In particular, Africa’s tech scene seems to be especially thriving. According to venture capital firm Partech Africa, African tech startups raised $1.163 billion in equity funding in 2018, a 108 percent year-over-year growth. These startups are clustering in the nearly 450 active tech hubs that dot the continent. Now, Rwanda is angling to stand out from the pack.
In the past decade, Rwanda has developed impressively quickly, averaging 7.5% GDP growth, which is among the highest on the continent. This is in part due to tech ventures like the Mara Group’s recently released Mara Phone, which has taken the title of the first African-made smartphone. Other smartphones have been made in Africa before, but Mara phones are the first to manufacture all of its components in Africa.
Photo courtesy of Simone D. McCourtie.