African startups are driving digital innovation on the continent – TechCabal
This piece was contributed to TechCabal by Oswald Osaretin Guobadia. Mr. Guobadia is currently the Senior Special Assistant to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Digital Transformation. He is the lead on the Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) -a project that is strategic to the growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and electronic economy.
Africa, the particular world’s second-largest continent simply by population, with around 1. 40 billion people, or 16. 72% of the world’s population , has a promising future. Its predominantly youthful population is changing the course of history in many facets.
Internationally, young Africans are usually cutting their teeth and putting smiles on people’s faces back home with their dexterity in the booming entertainment industry and the recognition that comes with it. The same can be said of sports plus fashion; Africans are taking the particular lead.
Africa will be home in order to many natural resources like oil, gold, diamonds, and ores, such that many technology giants like Apple Inc. rely on Congo’s supply of tantalum, tin, tungsten, plus gold to manufacture smartphones, batteries, and laptops.
Even though this implies that Africa has enough resources to supply the world, a new order is usually fast taking the place associated with natural sources – DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY.
The digital tech ecosystem in Africa is definitely on the move. Africa’s ecosystem can be comparable in order to a moving train that will cannot be stopped because, despite the odds that Africa has been faced with, youths, comprising 70% from the continent’s population , are using innovation to change several sectors, including banking plus finance, health, education, agriculture, and hospitality.
This particular new order is changing how we approach life. Globally, digital technology is contributing to revenue growth and driving developing and developed economies. We hear plus believe that data is certainly the new oil.
According to Techspace The african continent , Disrupt Africa , and Rwanda’s The New Times , Africa startups passed the US$2 billion mark in investment for the first time, up from US$701, 460, 565 achieved the particular previous year. In 2021, startup funding grew by 42. 1 percent despite the widespread effects of the particular COVID-19 pandemic on global economies. Funding growth indicates an upward trajectory, just as the industry is projected to record significant development, estimated at $712 billion dollars by the 12 months 2050 .
Even with a growing number of younger Africans openly expressing interest in building startups, some factors pose threats to existing and emerging startups within Africa. But as Nigerians say, even in our most challenging times, “ WE MOVE . ”
Nigeria has one of the continent’s fastest-growing startup ecosystems, according in order to StartupBlink’s ranking of Africa’s top technology ecosystems in its Global Startup Ecosystem Index, 2021.
It offers become common knowledge that will Nigerian young ones dominate the digital tech space, positioning Nigeria as one of the countries tackling problems in diverse sectors by utilizing innovative thinking and leveraging the power of technology.
With the success stories of Andela, Autochek, Kuda Bank, ULesson, Bloc, and several others documented by local and foreign news publications, Nigeria-based online companies face challenges such because power cuts and limited access to financing, expensive data plans, and regulatory issues. But each time our resolve is tested, we always find a way to surmount the challenge; that is the hallmark of being the Nigerian.
No doubt, Nigeria has the potential to be a world leader within the digital tech environment. But to achieve this, we must lay a solid foundation, and this begins simply by having not just a peripheral but more profound knowledge associated with what digitization is, the particular benefits thereof, and the infrastructure needed to achieve digital transformation.
Digitalization uses technology to enhance our daily activities and simplify complicated operational processes. The particular transformation within the Nigerian banking system will be an example of the particular importance of digitalization plus the advantages that come with it. Today, you can perform financial transactions at home or on the street.
On the other hand, infrastructure is the technology hardware, network assets, and services required for us to achieve the objective associated with a digital society. They include network equipment such as routers, computing hardware such as servers and software, facilities like information centers, processing and application platforms, and more.
As stated above, the digital economy is crucial, but having the infrastructure to energy this is usually much more important. The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI), accelerated wireless connectivity, plus the spread of relatively inexpensive computing systems mean that the technology ecosystem can offer a faster and more efficient world for businesses and other activities that will improve the Nigerian business environment as numerous companies have adopted the particular use of digital technologies.
At this point, it is important to note that while startups see their own innovations since disruptions, policymakers in the system may see them as displacements. This implies that startups’ innovations are here in order to enhance productivity, provide other solutions, and make life generally easier, which adds and should not subtract. But policymakers may perceive the strides of these online companies as displacing already existing structures and functioning paradigms. The key to ensuring that these paradigm shifts do not guide to a dysfunctional ecosystem or adversely impact the particular economy is that practitioners plus policymakers within the ecosystem engage and collaborate to develop dynamic policies and regulations which will increase innovation while managing the potential displacement.
The above is why founders and some other tech enthusiasts should actively participate in governance. This is because the particular Nigerian electronic tech space must get accurate representation at the highest level of strength and make room with regard to the passage of laws that will cause it to continually thrive. An example may be the Nigeria New venture Bill (NSB), recently exceeded by the National Assembly. The Bill will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are usually clear, well-planned, and beneficial to the tech industry. It will also help create an enabling environment regarding growth plus attract and protect expense in the particular tech area. Key to its success would be the quality associated with implementation plus complete sub-national adoption.
A digital economy is definitely driven by a technologically exposed society where every man, woman, and child can be tech-savvy. We must review our own school syllabuses at the particular elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels plus even the mandatory one-year youth service corps (NYSC). We need to ensure that will in the elementary level, which is the foundation of all learning, computer science is certainly integrated because if all of us succeed in creating pc whizzes on the foundation level, then we will succeed in birthing the generation of people that will transform the entire existence and redefine life through technology.
Therefore , the preceding guarantees that every Nigerian, even those in our villages, will certainly adopt technology and technology-driven teachings that will make Nigeria an advanced nation soon.
Every step we take to fix the deficiencies within the environment pushes us to a world of possibilities, where the following big worldwide tech solutions will come from a Nigerian village in Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Benue, or Katsina State. We will not just have smart cities yet rather wise villages exactly where integrated technologies will produce innovative schools that may foster quality teaching and learning.
Local markets can be open to the international market because the world is now a global village due to technology integration into our villages. This will improve the economy of our people and eradicate poverty, which has already been a longstanding issue within our society. The degree of societal digitization will become the brand new global poverty line. The particular African digital tech ecosystem will spark the continent’s transformation plus build leaders among our nations this kind of that our own villages and critical sectors will become powered by technology. From Karu village in Nigeria to Akrofu village in Ghana; Doumga, Senegal; Kayonza, Rwanda; Massai, Kenya; Megdaz, Morocco; plus Shakaland Zulu village, South Africa; the world is not ready for what Africa is about to unleash around the global tech environment.
Africa is the future the entire world is waiting for. You possess a part to play.
Guobadia is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Edo Innovates -- the engine hub to drive
technology and innovation within Edo State by providing strategic policy guidance, leverage on skills
development, investment decision promotion plus tech advancement in the state. He or she is the particular founder associated with DBH Africa - a building facilities and technologies solutions provider in West Africa. He actively supports startups in business strategy, operations optimisation, and technology .