This is how tech hub communities in Africa are driving innovative solutions in the continent
Tech hubs have become the nesting place for technology startups. In Africa, these tech hubs communities are rapidly growing to give more room to innovative tech startups to thrive. Being that ICT sector plays a vital role in the growth of a country’s economic growth, these tech hubs primarily focus on ways to use technology to improve the lives of their citizens by using technology to solve real problems peculiar to their environment.
With over 440 active tech hubs in Africa, five countries, namely, South Africa (59), Nigeria (55), Egypt (34), Kenya (30) and Morocco (25) make up 45 per cent of the total hubs in Africa. [GSMA 2018 report]. These growing tech hub communities are not only spear-heading innovations in Africa that can transform the continent but they are also creating employment opportunities, creating useful services and creating new industries through their unique services, transforming Africa’s workforce and work styles— moving from certificate-based workers to skill-based workers who have more work flexibility and have options of working for foreign tech companies right in their home country.
In Nigeria, as at 2019, there are over 70 (and counting) tech hubs spread all round the country, with Lagos leading in the number of tech hubs in Nigeria. The tech community in Nigeria has produced quite a number of impressive tech startups, by giving required support and raising funds.
A closer look at some of Nigeria’s biggest tech Hub like Cchub, which recently just acquired Kenya’s iHub for an undisclosed amount, we see the birth of tech startups like Tender.ng (a tech startup that helps businesses get job contracts related to the business focus), Off-campus Nigeria ( a real estate tech startup that helps corps members and students find affordable house rent solutions), Eko Analytics (a tech startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to gather reliable market information to aid business decisions for organisations), Doctoora (a service company that helps people get access to quality healthcare and healthcare professionals), just to name a few.
Moving to Nairobi in Kenya, one of the biggest tech hubs, iHub which was recently acquired by CcHub, has launched well over 100 successful tech startups in Kenya since it opened in 2010. This led to a significant economic growth in Kenya and also led to the birth of many other tech hubs all across the country, apart from Nairobi.
In Egypt, with a population of more than 90 million where more than 50% of that population are tech savvy, we have seen an impressive birth and sprout of tech hubs focusing on young entrepreneurs and startups. Cairo, in Egypt, has particularly experienced an exponential growth in mobile and web-based industries controlled by young people. Flat6Labs, founded in 2011, is one of the successful tech hubs in Egypt that has worked tirelessly to support tech startups with cuting-edge ideas. One of such is Reform Studio, an Egyptian based start-up that takes used plastic bags and ‘upcycles’ or converts (rather than recycle) this waste into everyday functional materials and products.
With the rise of tech hub communities all across Africa, and with timely support not bigger tech brands as well as governments of each country, Africa could become the best source of solution-driven tech innovations that other continents will look to.