Nigeria with 85 active tech hubs has been labelled the most advanced ecosystem in Africa. The recent effort by Briter Bridges and the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme identified 618 active tech hubs in Africa, 85 of which were from Nigeria.
The 2019 figures gathered by the group trumped last year’s count of 442, showing a 40% spike in the creation of hubs across the continent.
An active tech hub which serves as an organisation currently active with a physical local address, offering facilities and support for tech and digital entrepreneurs to produce their craft can be said to be backbone for the development of Africa’s Technology Ecosystem.
According to the listing of the 15 main tech cities in Africa, Lagos, a top innovative city, falls into Tier 1 with about 20-40 active hubs while Abuja was categorised in the second Tier with just over 15 hubs.
Tier 1: 20 to 40 hubs each – Lagos, Cairo, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.
Tier 2: 15+ hubs each – Casablanca, Accra, Abidjan, Tunis, and Abuja.
Tier 3: 10+ hubs each – Dakar, Bamako, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam, and Lomé.
Break-down of the 15 main tech cities. – GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme
A substantial amount of hubs across the continent are supported by corporate partners and venture capital like mobile operators who have deep involvement in digital technology. However, the study revealed a high fold up rate as over 150 hubs closed down since 2016 highlighting the importance of sustainable foundations for active hubs.
As Africa tech start-ups match up with their global counterparts in technological innovation, they are becoming increasingly appealing to an international audience, several global brands. Y Combinator, Founders Factory, and Startup Bootcamp have established roots on the continent. Tech companies like Google and Microsoft are also involved, supporting the ecosystem by establishing centres like the Google Launchpad Accelerator in Lagos and the Microsoft Development Centres in Nairobi and Lagos.
Across the country, especially major technology cites like Lagos and Abuja, various venture capital funding are being given to the number of tech hubs and growth rates across tech ecosystems is evident.
The continent is not left out as countries like South Africa and Kenya are in a race to build productive tech ecosystems. They are showing no signs of slowing down as more players enter the race to join major stakeholders to ensure funding is made available.
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