The commitment of investors and innovators to grow the local startup ecosystem has seen the number of technology hubs across Africa doubling in less than a year.
Global telecoms industry body GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator says a total of 314 tech hubs and incubation centers were recorded in July 2016.
This represents an increase from the 117 centers that were recorded by the World Bank in 2015.
Even though these are found across 93 cities in 42 countries in Africa, most of them are located in only 5 countries, namely: South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco.
The co-operation between entrepreneurs, innovation hubs, telecom operators and giant tech companies can be the cause of the thriving tech industry.
According to the research, about 13% of the tech hubs across Africa collaborated with mobile operators which like Orange, MTN and Vodafone.
These mobile network operators believe that there is the need for them to innovate or die . For instance, in 2014, Orange support helped launch CIPMEN, Niger’s first incubator. The program provides support to businesses in technology development and environmental projects like renewable energy. MTN also supported the launch of ActivSpaces in Cameroon. The hub provides both incubation and acceleration programs, helping startups secure seed funding.
Some hubs have been phenomenal since their inception in March 2010. iHub, Kenya’s premier technology community working space can boast of spurring the launch of more than 170 startups.
US tech giants are equally throwing their weight behind startup down global south as the African continent positions itself as a market ripe for investment. Examples of these include Microsoft’s $75 million 4Afrika project, which supports small and medium enterprises, driving social development and technological innovation