shutterstock_176154356_LowA McKinsey report published in February 2014 estimates that mobile phone ownership among adults in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is estimated to be 66 percent. The rapid spread of Internet-enabled mobile phones throughout SSA has created an opportunity for the emergence of tech startups and venture capital firms in economically vibrant cities such as Accra, Lagos, and Nairobi. For many people, mobile phones are more than a communication tool. They are a technology platform that provides access to other services and experiences such as money transfer, entertainment, and education. As a consequence, tech entrepreneurs have seized this opportunity to provide tools and applications relevant to the African context. Their rise is aided in part by relatively low operational capital costs due to inexpensive Internet bandwidth and data storage. This growth offers much needed employment, opens avenues for wealth generation, and increases the role of science and technology in the continuing expansion of Africa’s economies. Notable SSA startups include Konga, an ecommerce company in Nigeria, and Ushahidi, a global eyewitness reporting application founded in Kenya.
Continue Reading The Rise of Technology Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa