Africa is the new frontier for technology adoption and development. The African continent is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and the sub-Saharan nations of East Africa are leading the way with annual GDP growth rates of more than six percent.
Years of underdevelopment gave Africa the opportunity to leapfrog many of the early and intermediate stages of technological innovation. Until recent years, for example, few Africans had telephones due to the high cost of running telephone lines across vast distances to service small rural communities. However, the advent of cellular technology made economical mobile phone service available almost everywhere across the continent. The resulting explosion of mobile phone ownership in Africa bypassed the landline phase and produced some of the most connected countries in the world. In Kenya, a world leader in Internet penetration, an astounding 90% of the population has Internet access.
Kenya and its neighbors in East Africa, such as Rwanda, which is known as the “Singapore of Africa”, are at the forefront of the African technology revolution. As a mobile-first country, Kenya, the seventh most populous country in Africa, maintains a vibrant mobile economy that contributes 7.7% to the African GDP.
Africa’s dominant lead in innovative mobile payment solutions has generated a veritable gold rush of fintech companies from around the globe, all competing to get in on the ground floor of this rapidly expanding market. This, in turn, is driving the explosive growth in the technology and eCommerce sectors, providing a unique business opportunity for entrepreneurial ventures building the new 21st century Africa.