Research has shown that more households in Africa own a mobile phone than have access to electricity or clean water. A definite sign of the times.
Over the last couple of years, the African continent has seen major advancements in technology – from both an adoption and manufacturing point of view. The ecommerce wave has officially hit us, and rather than sinking, the African market is learning to swim, very quickly.
Technology companies, much like Realm Digital, have gone on to see great success in the local and international markets, and foreign investors are more keen and comfortable to invest their money in this market segment.
While the continent’s infrastructure continues to be a challenge in the embracing of technology, the market is willing to engage with new technology to improve their education, knowledge and skills.
Here are five points showing the current, and future landscape of technology in Africa.
1. In West and Central Africa, Nigeria leads the way in usage with 63 million internet users, ranking 9th in the world. Most of the access is through mobile devices – no surprise there.
2. While ecommerce adoption has been slow, Africa is set to see a spike over the next couple of years. Considering the terrain realities in Africa, retailers are starting to cater to their entire customer demographic by allowing for cash on delivery and even setting up online malls.
3. Nairobi has become the tech hub of Africa. It is believed that the ICT sector in Kenya is set to contribute up to 8% of the country’s GDP by next year. Great emphasis is placed on innovation and entrepreneurship in Kenya, and the government is putting effort into creating the adequate environment to encourage innovation, especially amongst the youth. The past 15 years has seen Kenya’s internet penetration go from less than one percent, to over 70%.
4. Cloud computing – not just another buzz word, it is being hailed as an ‘African success story’. The continents’ leaders believes that cloud technology has the potential to transform the technology industry and even our daily activities. In Nigeria, pharmacists and patients are using a cloud-based service to verify the authenticity of prescription medicines, while in Kenya, local innovators created a cloud-based market-tracking app for farmers trying to get the best prices for their goods.
5. Rwanda recently launched Africa’s first drone delivery program. In partnership with a Californian-based startup, 50 to 150 daily deliveries of critical medical supplies to 21 locations of across Rwanda are taking place. Rwanda has a clear development strategy in place, with ICT at the heart of its transformation.
These five points only begin to paint the picture of what’s to come on the technology front. We are thrilled to be a part of digital transformation, not only in South Africa, but the African continent.
This article first appeared on Realm Digital. Realm Digital is a global digital strategy and technology partner, specialising in digital solutions.