Africa is rising itself to transform on technology, to take the continent on the new era of development. New industries and tech companies are springing up with bigger dreams to solve the continent’s problems in business, medicine and more.
Technology is no more just a hype in Africa, rather it has become a critical enabling technology platform. Its significant impact in the region has reached into a remarkable tipping point. As Africa revolutionizes working through its limits to join the mainstream of the world development, technology is playing an increasingly vital role. Boosting regional trends in business, foreign direct investment and modernization; it’s the emerging tech continent with untapped potential opening massive opportunities for entrepreneurs, tech ventures and innovation centers connecting the continent. When connectivity hits the business environment, leading internet platforms drive the continent to be borderless and to catch up with the global development. Facebook, Netflix, Jumia Travel and SAP have recently expanded in Africa with the initiative to transform and link the region.
According to the recent TIA: EAST Tech in Africa report, the growth of mobile penetration particularly in East Africa has been expanding with similar pace as that of the US and Europe; with development of internet and e-commerce progressing at a faster rate. The mobile industry continues to grow rapidly, with a total of 3.6 billion mobile subscribers at the end of 2014. Half of the world’s population now has mobile subscription up from one in five a decade ago. An additional one billion subscribers are predicted in the coming five years at approximately 60% global penetration rate, according to the latest GSMA report on mobile economy.
Although Africa is perceived as a place of underdevelopment; it is seeing a rapid technology transformation to both higher speed mobile broadband networks and the increased adoption of smartphones. Driven by the growing range of new tech services and industries, data traffic is expected to see an almost ten-fold increase by 2019. Operators have invested heavily in their infrastructure over the past three years, with capital expenditure set to increase further to support mobile broadband network deployments totaling $1.4 trillion in 2020.
Sub Saharan Africa accounts for the majority of digital services globally with 53%. In 2014, 22 new services launched while 60 and 58 services were launched in 2013 and in 2012 respectively. Reinforced by the increasing affordability of devices, the future growth is estimated to be 2.9 billion connections by 2020 according to expert’s prediction. In the coming four years, people with smartphones in the Sub Saharan Africa will exceed the entire projected population by over 30% says GSMA.
Notably, Africa portrays a significant tech movement attracting major international companies. From West Africa to East Africa and central Africa, tech innovations and Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Parks have started to dominate the markets of banking, agriculture and healthcare as well as the energy sectors. It’s creating a massive impact in the continent’s economy, motivating governments to create suitable environment to draw more technology to the continent.